You got me, I got you

Various clays, MDF, paint, six tablets; each 18 cm x 30 x 0,7 cm, 2021

You got me, I got you is a series of clay tablets which are reminiscent of humankind’s oldest-preserved written documents that originate from the ancient Near East and preceded the first libraries. The installation explores how clay as a universal and abundant natural resource common in cultures throughout the world continues to play a vital role.

Each tablet is a conversation between the maker and the material. The use of repetition invokes a mantra and describes the wide-ranging spectrum of clay. The writings reflect its poetry, its weight and the physical strength required to lift it, the protection it provides when turned into bricks that build houses, its force when large amounts of it move, resulting in landslides.

The clay used was dug up by Schuster from the site of Bollebygd’s former brick works (SE), from Horn Tegelbruk, Sweden’s only remaining hand-made brickwork, and from Clanger Woods (UK). Dried only by air and sun, the tablets remain unfired and thus highly fragile, speaking of the material’s cyclical nature and its potential to return to the earth it came from.

Photo 1 © Hendrik Zeitler, Photo 2, 3 © AnnaCarin Isaksson