Craft in Transition by Jorunn Veiteberg.
What is Craft and what kind of art is it? Historically, Veiteberg argues, Craft referred to handmade objects that typically served a particular function in our daily lives, including functions in cultural rituals and rites. But what about the Craft object of today? Think of artists like Chris Gilmour, who manipulate the visual language of an object’s form (usually forms that imply action or interaction, such as a typewriter, a scooter, or a car) and meticulously recreates it with material (e.g. cardboard) that thwarts the implied function and frustrates the viewer’s expectations. Gilmour believes this creates a “short circuit between an implied action and the impossibility of performing it” (from “Intervista“) which, in turn, forces viewers to become hyperaware of the physical, economic, and social implications of the material itself.
Veiteberg also cites examples of ready-made Craft objects as other works that challenge the historical paradigm and call for further discussion on the future of Craft. Approaching Craft from the perspectives of history, aesthetics and contemporary art, Veiteberg discusses the transitioning world of Craft and “argues in defense of beauty as having value in itself.”