The Chaddah Family Foundation Spotlight Gallery

ex ante // ex post By Richard Munster

The works in this exhibition are ceramic. Made from clay, these objects are fired for upwards of 48 hours in a homemade wood burning kiln. All of the resulting color, texture and surface are a result of their direct contact with flame and ash. The images on the walls are macro-photographs of the surfaces of these works. They translate down to an area approximately the size of a postage stamp in real life. These images were shot by my friend Michael Luis Diaz and are the result of true collaboration. My Work, His Eyes. Each of our respective skill sets and professions was necessary in order for these images to come to life and we are both very excited to debut this joint project here with you here at CityArts.

Both the physical works and the images that were selected for this exhibition aim to function as highlights: documenting, presenting & elevating the process of their transformation through fire, pressure & heat. The marks, colors, crevasses and cracks trace & tell a story, each acting as a physical record of change through an extreme event. In the case of my work that event is the firing process: physically akin to the effects of an eruption but exercised with creative intention and care.

The title of this body of work, ex ante // ex post , translates from Latin as Before the Event// After the Event . Much of the interest in the city of Pompeii is directly linked to its violent destruction at the hands of mount Vesuvius. As a result of this fascinating tragedy, history turned its eyes to the aftermath of the event and drew a vibrant image of the life, landscape and culture of both the island and its inhabitants at the time.

When we are compelled to look closely we learn. The remnants left in the wake of an active culture, the conditions of human relationships with the environment and the traces of activity that build, destroy & transform landscapes and their inhabitants over time all speak volumes. We have the capacity to draw information from these echoes over time and build narratives and layers of knowledge; slowly forming a clearer idea of ourselves, our histories and our relationships with each other and the earth long after these events have taken place.