The eroticism of clay

Corrado Levi

It's greasy to the touch.
It pretends to be docile.
Plain water changes its consistency.
You can bury your fingers and hands in it, the hands of which we have spoken.
If you withdraw it's a failure.
Initially clay is asexual, polymorphic; perverse it may be said. You create the holes you want.
Left in the open after drying, it return to dust.
Firing makes it impassive: it is petrified through trauma.
It hides beneath a patinas to which the obscene and the diabolic are not strangers.
Fire is, in fact, its amniotic fluid.
Its appeal rangers from informal eroticism to the diabolicism of form.
As much as we manipulate it, that form, breathless and on tiptoes, because if you drop it, it'll break, it takes command now.
Shards are remarkable: they'll cut you and persecute you with feelings of guilt.
Unless Asger Jorn or Tony Cragg is passing, they should be handled, the shards, with gloves, of ceramic.

Excerpt from the Proceedings of the “Local ceramic traditions and globalisation of contemporary art” conference, 19/20 October 2002, Fortezza del Priamàr, Savona.

Conference proceedings Local ceramic traditions and the globalisation of contemporary art

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