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November 6, 2007- November 28, 2007

SHARED SPACE: John Kantar & Bob Stacke

This will be Minneapolis potter John Kantar's fourth show at Homewood Studios. John has invited Bob Stacke (well known local musician and teacher) to share the gallery space to show photos documenting his trip to Haiti this past summer.

Opening Reception - Thursday, November 8th from 6p to 9p

Gallery Talk - Tuesday, November 13th beginning at 7p

Both the Opening Reception and the Gallery Talk were resounding successes, continuing the tradition John has established of thoughtful work and thoughtful reflection about the work. People flowed in and out of conversation with the artists and conversation with the work at the reception. At the gallery talk fourteen of us sat in a circle and explored together the "earthy" connections of Bob's photographs of Haiti and John's pots. One especially potent comment, that the photographs allow us to see the vibrancy of a culture we normally think of as impoverished. The work of any piece of art - photograph, pot, painting, dance or musical composition - is to slow us down, to make us use our senses, to take time to notice...

And taking the show down, always a bitter-sweet event, was especially poignant this time because of the true sense of history implicit. This was John's fourth show at Homewood Studios. We talked, while packing up the pots and the photos, about next show ideas, about the synergy engendered by inviting Bob into the equation, about how lucky we are to have a community of artists around us who help buffer the slings and arrows of a larger world pretty much committed to devastating itself with choices informed by non-artist thinking.

The comments in the guest book are enough to confirm the life affirming power of art.

From Daniel Kerkhoff:

Hi, this is Daniel Kerkhoff. I was at the gallery talk and wanted to share some info/quote/poem related to our discussion about the "earthy" connections, something I'm very interested in. Thanks to John and Bob for the talk and to Bev and George for hosting. --Daniel

At the talk, I had mentioned the Japanese aesthetic, Wabi-Sabi. Here is a book people might be interested in checking out: Wabi-Sabi for Artists, Designers, Poets & Philosophers by Leonard Koren, Stone Bridge Press, Berkeley, California.

A quote from the book, Japanese Art by Joan Stanley-Baker:

"Japanese critics express their preference for Korean peasant ware over the cool perfection of Chinese celadons by saying that 'the imperfect Korean bowl waits for me even when I am not at home, whereas the Chinese bowl waits for no one'. This statement reflects that perception of the inter-relationship of human beings and objects which permeates Japanese life, and which causes their 'worship of the imperfect' (i.e., the natural). A smooth celadon bowl, like the majestic Chinese landscape, is too perfect, too awesome: to the Japanese eye it seems severe, it 'waits for no one', and does not need human sympahty, 'audience participation', to visualize its innate perfection."

Toward An Impure Poetry

by Pablo Neruda

It is good, at certain hours of the day and night, to look closely at the world of objects at rest. Wheels that have crossed long, dusty distances with their mineral and vegetable burdens, sacks from the coal bins, barrels, and baskets, handles and hafts for the carpenter's tool chest. From them flow the contacts of man with the earth, like a text for all troubled lyricists. The used surfaces of things, the wear that the hands give to things, the air, tragic at times, pathetic at others, of such things---all lend a curious attactiveness to the reality of the world that should not be underprized.

In them one sees the confused impurity of the human condition, the massing of things, the use and disuse of substance, footprints and fingerprints, the abiding presence of the human engulfing all artifacts, inside and out.

Let that be the poetry we search for: worn with the hand's obligations, as by acids, steeped in sweat and in smoke, smelling of the lilies and urine, spattered diversely by the trades that we live by, inside the law or beyond it.

A poetry impure as the clothing we wear, or our bodies, soup-stained, soiled with our shameful behavior, our wrinkles and vigils and dreams, observations and prophecies, declarations of loathing and love, idylls and beasts, the shocks of encounter, political loyalties, denials and doubts, affirmations and taxes.

The holy canons of madrigal, the mandates of touch, smell, taste, sight, hearing, the passion for justice, sexual desire, the sea sounding---willfully rejecting and accepting nothing: the deep penetraion of things in the transports of love, a consummate poetry soiled by the pigeon's claw, ice-marked and tooh-marked, bitten delicately with our sweatdrops and usage, perhaps. Till the instrument so restlessly played yields us the comfort of its surfaces, and the woods show the knottiest suavities shaped by the pride of the tool. Blossom and water and wheat kernel share one precious consistency: the sumptuous appeal of the tactile.

Let no one forget them. Melancholy, old mawkishness impure and unflawed, fruits of a fabulous species lost to the memory, cast away in a frenzy's abandonment---moonlight, the swan in the gathering darkness, all hackneyed endearments: surely that is the poet's concern, essential and absolute.

Those who shun the "bad taste" of things will fall flat on the ice.

From Reinhard Moestl:

This is the Moestl family from Graz
Austria. We're looking for the artist and
teacher Daniel Kerkhoff from Minneapolis USA who was a friend of us.
Please Daniel, tell us where you live now!
Reinhard rexfontis@gmx.at