When A Pot Finds Its Purpose
When A Pot Finds Its Purpose
Nov 6—Dec 15, 2019
Visual Art

When A Pot Finds Its Purpose
Glenn Kaino
Curated by Larry Ossei-Mensah
NY Premiere



When A Pot Finds Its Purpose is a meditation on hope, aspiration, and the nature of human progress—and a cautionary tale of the risk of stagnation and the assumptions of infinite expansion. The overarching concept of Glenn Kaino’s work is inspired by a conversation with Bishop T.D. Jakes and his take on the logic of repotting in the world. Just as domesticated plants need room to fulfill their potential and roots to grow, repotting translates into a contextual slippage and the spatial expansion required for an idea to evolve and take greater form or for the intellectual growth within a person. The physical boundaries of the root ball represent occupation, densification, and the reduction of critical distance. By the time the roots saturate the existing soil, the entire system is in jeopardy.

Kaino suggests that we have arrived at that critical juncture. Technology, democracy, and human development have created circumstances of expansion and resource consumption that are far beyond anything imagined by our original architects. Our roots are impacted, our stories are intertwined, and this pot we are all living together in is out of date and at risk of breaking. What happens when the status quo is no longer acceptable?

This exhibition consists of three works that anchor the dialogue around these inquiries: Blue, a meditative work consisting of a series of simulated waves; Spill, a sculptural installation created from a tipped over pot in the form of the Liberty Bell; and Spontaneous Combustion (2:31:12), a recreation of the American flag soaked in a Civil War-era tarring solution. With these works, Kaino underscores that there is no one-size-fits-all model; there are dynamic forces that twist, turn, and stretch, and we must constantly be attuned to their shifting nature to ensure proper growth.


BAM Strong
The Rudin Family Gallery

On view Wed—Sun, 12—6pm
Open one hour prior to every performance in the Harvey Theater

Note: When A Pot Finds Its Purpose is closed November 28—30. 


Leadership support for BAM Visual Art provided by Toby Devan Lewis

When A Pot Finds Its Purpose
Glenn Kaino, artist
Los Angeles-born conceptual artist Glenn Kaino transforms conventional materials and forms, using the languages, logics, and economies of other creative disciplines as raw elements. Conceiving his practice as “conceptual kitbashing,” akin to a model maker’s way of appropriating readymade kits to assemble unique models, Kaino reconciles conflicting ideologies, opposing systems, and strict dichotomies in material and experiential ways.
When A Pot Finds Its Purpose
Larry Ossei-Mensah, curator
Larry Ossei-Mensah is the Susanne Feld Hilberry Senior Curator at the Museum of Contemporary Art Detroit (MOCAD) and the co-founder of ARTNOIR, a global collective of culturalists who design multimodal experiences aimed to engage this generation’s creative class. Recently named one of seven curators to watch in 2019 by Cultured Magazine, the Ghanaian-American curator and cultural critic sees contemporary art as a vehicle to redefine how we see ourselves and the world around us. He is a contributor to the first-ever Ghanaian Pavilion for the 2019 Venice Biennale with an essay on the work of visual artist Lynette Yiadom-Boakye.
Larry Ossei-Mensah and Glenn Kaino
Larry Ossei-Mensah & Glenn Kaino: A Conversation
Larry Ossei-Mensah is guest curator of The Rudin Family Gallery at BAM Strong. Larry sat down with the inaugural gallery artist, Glenn Kaino, to talk about the exhibition.