Master of Fine Arts (MFA)
I am fascinated by the myriad ways humans construct meaning in the face of existential uncertainty. For the exhibition Oblivion, I endeavor to provide a gallery experience, a body of metaphorically charged functional vessels, and a number of ritualistic accoutrements that address death, futility, and the passage of time as it inexorably flows toward obsolescence. The process of handcraft and the method of firing that I employ highlights the absurdity of the endeavor of the handmade: the seemingly futile and interminable quest for perfection and meaning. This futilitarian pottery exaggerates the errors of the hand and flaunts artifacts of the intense heat from firing as a metaphor for the human condition. Although the pots themselves may be inanimate know-nothings, they still have much to teach us about the natural and the arcane. It is my hope to create a body of work that is honest in its connections to the peculiarities of existence and absence: to provide the viewer with an accessible and introspective opportunity to reflect on the desire for understanding those things that lie beyond our control. It is both a liberating comfort and a savage terror that the dead do not return, except in stories and dreams.
Document Availability at the Time of Submission
Release the entire work immediately for access worldwide.
Stumbras, Michael, "Oblivion" (2017). LSU Master's Theses. 4595.