FREE AND NOT YET
Free and Not Yet was exhibited in 2017 at Dutton Gallery in New York, and in 2018 at Crystal Bridges Museum. Made of hand-built ceramic links that form an intimated endless chain, double links from this chain will be given away to visitors to the exhibition – when a link is taken, it will be replaced by another piece. The work makes tangible the invisible ties that connect us – talismans of the principle of generosity. By giving away the artwork to visitors to the gallery, Larkey hopes to stimulate thinking about forms of economic and social organizing based on giving and care.
The works in the exhibition are based on Larkey’s interest in gift economies, to exemplify social and economic exchanges that present vital alternatives to capitalistic accumulation. In gift economies a gift is a social/spiritual act that strengthens relationships between members of a community. These types of exchanges typically exist in cultures where it is recognized that everything that comes from the earth is free, and that it is necessary to replicate the primary act of generosity in order to maintain abundance in our lives and our social relationships.
The work inevitably also brings to mind chain as a metaphor for restriction, oppression, and confinement. By making the chain in clay, the work transforms the industrial into the handmade; uniformity into irregularity; separation into connection, and indestructibility into fragility. The metaphor for oppression becomes a metaphor for co-struggle and interdependence – strengthening the links that connect us.