Alex Reed: International Ceramics Friendship Park
International Ceramics Friendship Park is a proposal for an urbanism resulting from an imagined future: one that suggests a built environment in which craftspeople have seized the means of production and representation of their own work and bodies. ICFP is a model city complete with cooperative housing, pensioner’s tower, monument, mausoleum, pool, hedgemaze, and communal kiln. The various objects that share this space with the site model are the imagined handiwork of the residents of this notional utopia.
Comprising several design objects and a large-scale architectural model, Reed’s work prompts a joyful yet critical examination of the role of craft practices in contemporary society, and mines their potential to spark political imagination.
Ceramic puzzles, functional sculptures, and a display of glaze-test tiles from the artist’s studio offer practical and immediate ways for the viewer to engage, contemplate, and activate the possibilities of Reed’s imagined utopia. With a welcoming sense of levity accompanied by formal exploration, Reed adopts the Modernist Urban Plan to propose new ways to celebrate and honor the craftsperson’s labor and contribution to culture.
With essays by Glenn Adamson and Peter Zellner
Photography by Dutra Brown
Published on the occasion of "International Ceramics Friendship Park" at Marta Gallery in Los Angeles, September 12 — October 27, 2019
Published by Marta, 2019
Softcover, saddle-stitched, 48 pages, full color offset, 6 × 10 inches