During weekly classes at the Gardiner Museum, Chris Curreri photographed students’ wet and discarded projects. The resulting series of photographs, Untitled (Clay Portfolio), focuses on the material of clay as it shifts between states of form and states of formlessness. Some of the prints in the series have a subtle solarâ€ ization effect—a phenomenon in photography in which the image is wholly or partially reversed in tone by exposing the print to light during the development process. This process underscores a correspondence between the photographic darkroom and the pottery studio by emphasizing the brief moment where the latent image is still malleable and has yet to be fixed to the photographic paper. The images themselves depict raw material in different states: fresh and untouched clay; bowls and other identifiable objects left discarded in a pile; and the stuffing of this discarded matter into a machine that compresses and extrudes it as new, usable material. One thing is not depicted in the photographs: the moment when the material becomes a calcified, acceptable thing.
The portfolio will be accompanied by a new sculptural work titled That, There, It that elaborates on the relationships between raw material, latency, and fixed (or fired) finality.