A SHAPE MADE THROUGH ITS UNRAVELING
“A Shape Made Through Its Unraveling” is a large wall work composed of ceramic pendants, each of which is offered to visitors to the gallery to take, wear, and keep. By taking a pendant, each visitor participates in an ongoing performative act that manifests both connection to others and the necessary sharing of resources in order to promote mutual well being. Rethinking what ownership of an artwork can mean, the work exists not in the consolidation of the individual pieces, but in the spatial connections that are made by the dispersal of its parts.
The central premise of Larkey’s exhibit "a shape made through its unraveling" from 2017 is that art can help formulate what supportive social and economic structures might look like. Visitors were invited to engage with the work in dynamic ways that created connection between the participants to generate new visceral/lived frameworks for viable social and economic exchange and to imagine, in conjunction with others, how we can create beneficial structures that are well within the field of the possible.
To that end, the exhibition included events held in collaboration with people and organizations who are actively working to reconfigure our social and economic relationships to each other and our environment.
ARTICULATE considered how language can be used as a performative speech act that creates our shared reality. The group explored some deep structures of language and create individualized tools for healing and resistance. This event was facilitated by Amanda Yates Garcia, an artist, witch and healer. She draws from a broad range of esoteric strategies including the Western Mystery Traditions of tarot, alchemy and Hermeticism; shamanic healing practices; positive magic and witchcraft; herbalism; energy work (Reiki, tantra and other yogas); psychomagic and more.
INHABIT focused on issues of land and property and was facilitated by LATCH collective and At Home Housing. As communities, we have the possibility of using our joint economic and social power to build affordable housing that supports our economic and social well-being.
Anyone interested in creating affordable, sustainable housing was invited to come with any questions about tiny houses, intentional community, and the collective building process. As a group, we shared information and resources, and generated practical solutions and designs for building alternative communities in Los Angeles and elsewhere.
LATCH Collective is a network of tiny house enthusiasts supporting each other in designing and building tiny, transportable homes. We organize opportunities for sharing and receiving skills, knowledge, experience, tools and support. We also advocate for increased housing options in Los Angeles, speciﬁcally for spaces that are affordable, sustainable, well-designed and safely built.
At Home Housing is an organization dedicated to creating housing opportunities for intentional communities. We organize members, provide trainings, and reach out to those who are interested. We educate the public and policymakers about the benefits of community living throughout Los Angeles.
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.
Free and Not Yet - Crystal Bridges
As part of her participation in The Beyond, Molly Larkey presented an interactive discussion and participatory program combining art and conversation. She worked with girls who were in a jail diversion program through Teen Action and Support Center in Springfield, Arkansas to present the work at the museum. During the event, Molly facilitated a discussion centered on her work in the exhibition, as well as a special participatory engagement with her ceramic pendants, each of which is offered to the visitors, to take, wear and keep. Guests were invited to reflect on this event as a symbolic act based in the sharing of resources, mutual wellbeing, and our inherent connectedness.
Larkey and the youth participants from Teen Action and Support Center were on site to talk to visitors about economies of generosity and care, and to discuss concrete ways of organizing alternative economies and social structures.