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KATIE SMITH

I have made these objects as things to be experienced, events to be witnessed, and as frames through which we know the world around us.

These seemingly useless unproductive things push against our sense of productivity and understanding. They are to be used, but are not useful. Through these objects I want to become conscious of the yield of looking, feeling, and being, that is usually subconscious. I want to set up a relationship in which you know the world and your body in relation to these objects, know the objects in relation to the world and to your body.

They are known and they point you towards knowing but they are not understood.

A finger held up pushed to the right with a simple closing of the right eyelid.

Wink right

Wink left

Right. Left.

I look AT the windshield

I look THROUGH the windshield

I see the passing landscape

I can't see the glass.

I can not not see the glass

I can never see the glass without seeing through it at the same time.

—KS

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Ceramicist Katie Smith’s current body of work engages with thresholds, physicality, and reflexivity; inspired by everyday occurrences of in/attention, her oversized pieces encourage viewers to shift their focus to moments often left unexplored. The pieces, imposing but exceedingly fragile, invite us to interact by stepping into the open spaces inside, beside, and in front of the sculptures. In this way, we are asked to engage in an immersive experience without physically handling the objects. At the core of Smith’s work is an extraordinary devotion to experience and attention. While the architectural form of the objects suggests a sense of impermeability, the gaps, cracks, crevices, and openings found throughout each piece require our attention to shift between what is directly in front of us to what is behind the object. Smith asks us to simultaneously look at and look through her work, drawing attention to the process of sight and omission.

In many ways, Smith’s body of work is a meditation on the practice of elision in everyday life, seeking to encourage greater reflexivity on those minute moments that decide what we choose to omit, overlook, and ignore both in and outside the gallery space. With this body of work, Smith magnifies these moments by making the process of looking through laborious. It is difficult to look beyond the metallic and shimmering glazes, to see behind the precarious and magnetic forms, and to shift focus to surrounding features typically overlooked.

—Megan Wanttie