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MFA Ceramic Art

Irys Kluska

Sick dog hospital

I work with themes of agency, care, medicalisation, and the ongoing brokenness of the human body.
I reconfigure, reorientate, reuse, refire, and allow breaking as a working method.
Brokenness is a contextual state. Is a body broken when it becomes non-functional, or when it diverges from a norm? Is it marked by discomfort? Whose discomfort is it? Whose orientation do we take when we talk about brokenness?
Can a sculpture, an object which has no function beyond being observed, be broken?

My body is a medicalised body and so are the bodies of, probably, most. It is interesting to think about the agency one has in the face of medical choices. A medicalised body is never in equilibrium. It is always in danger, reliant on something, having to advocate for oneself.
When I orientate myself towards the breaking from the perspective of someone in an ever-changing, ever-deteriorating body, the breaking is not necessarily a bad thing – it is a foundational part of existence.
Sometimes being allowed to break is an affirmation of agency.
I build animalistic structures that are generally meant to, at some point, be broken, shed, have elements knocked off of them. Often when substantial breaking occurs, I reorientate them in the kiln, add to the sides, stick them together, and give them new ways to continue breaking down. Letting my work live instead of putting it away on a shelf is important to me.

Both in my body and the bodies of my work, the process of breaking down continues till there is nothing left.