JOJO CORVÄIÀ _ ARTIST _ CERAMIST

Dear Cédric and Klass,
 
Thank you so much for including me in this project.
 
Here is what I have written for you guys:
 
9 Questions :

_according to this "lockdown", what is Mother Earth’s hidden message to humankind?
-A couple of years ago the last white Rhino died. I don’t want to go into the details of the significance of this huge event, but I want to highlight the noise that this death made: almost none. However the world as a whole was very aware of David Bowie’d passing. Not disrespecting his place in history, but those two events are immensely incomparable.
 
You ask me what is the hidden message from Earth upon this lockdown. With all the respect, I disagree. The message is not hidden, and it hasn’t been hidden for a long time now. Everything is changing since the last 40 something years in an increasingly accelerated curve, and while great artist will come and go, we will never see a white Rhino anymore. 
 
We only think of the Earth as a land to build our world on top of. We extract from it, minerals, gold and diamonds, oil to negotiate with and enrich us from, shave away what we don’t care of it, cut off vegetation to create and make our environment to our taste, push away those that don’t look like us so our lives look nicer, creating suffering and migration of humans, creating chaos and destruction. So.. this is not really hidden, but rather evident. Nature changes, reacts and modifies when we abuse it.
 
But we forget that the earth is alive when we see it just as a land to build on. More alive than we will ever be. Older than us, in many more shapes than us, more intelligent and complex than us. 
 
We must understand that we are not above the earth, we are “in” earth. We are alive because of it, we eat from it, we breath its air, in and out. We are earth. All of us, together. Blacks, whites, animals and trees, water and wind.
 
In any case, to me the message is very clear: we don’t listen, we don’t see.
And that is because we are too busy with ourselves, as if we live in a mirror that only allows us to see our faces and not our context. And this lockdown is the result of not looking, nor listening, not feeling, and not respecting.
 

_how is this context inspiring you?
-How is this context inspiring me?
Well, the things that I see as inspiring are in a way sad. Sad because of the circumstances that we all have to go through to realize certain things.
Those things are:
-we are all in this together (this meaning “planet”).
-we, regular people, small creators and small businesses are the support of the world, therefore we are much more responsible for our wellbeing than what we think.
-corporations are meaningless without us.
-ego goes nowhere at the end, it means nothing at the end, but sadly, it stays until the end.
 
So, in light of this situation, inspiration (which is a word I try not to use) makes me think that we should think more about designing and creating from and for the earth. Rediscovering the matter, rediscovering what matters.
 

_which “simple things” have you re-discovered?
-What have I rediscovered?
I’m seriously considering making my pieces with less reactive glazes, less pollutive reactions. You know, in my small collections of treasures, I happen to posses a "pre-colombian" ceramic artifact from the area of Kamai, in Venezuela. Probably 1500 years old. It’s the lid of an urn vase, made with red clay, decorated with a darker clay and coated with milk. I know this because this is a centenary technique. I have been looking at it, as I just mentioned... rediscovering the matter, rediscovering what matters.

_what do you miss the most?
-What do I miss…? for me that’s hard to answer. I’m living in the moment and I try to stay in the moment. So I’m focused on the now.
 

_will you change your product, business model or creative mindset from this situation? if yes, how?
-Will I change my pieces? Actually I’m very happy that I work with earth, with clay. But I’m already thinking of cutting off chemicals when it comes to glazes. I think there is a whole interesting way of looking at it. Finishings instead of glazes. At least in my case it works very well.
 

_what have you learned that you actually didn't expect to learn?
-I didn’t expect to learn that the air quality of China and Italy changed dramatically in matter of weeks. I was shock by the speed of the change. Something to think about.
Do we need flights every day? Can we cut off airplane activities two days a week worldwide? Does it make a different to our schedule if we leave on Tuesday instead of Wednesday? It sure makes a different to our planet...
 

_which objects / artwork / services / experiences or spaces will help us to remind the benefits to slow down / to reflect / to connect with our higher purpose?
-Which objects or experiences helps us unterstand the meaning of “slow down”? How about trees? They go slow, and yet they last longer than us. They shed leafs in Autumn, and yet they regrow them in Spring.
 

_what will you improve in your engagement to respect Mother Nature’s call, after the end of the "lockdown", while being running on the fast lane to recover from the damage?
-what will I improve while being running on the fast lane to recover from the damage? The damage is not to us, is to the Earth. We are damaging the Earth, therefore we all go with the damage. My improvement would be my way if thinking. 

_in a very pragmatic way, for your creative business activity, what will be the greatest challenge to grow from this "lockdown"?
-For me, the greatest challenge to grow from this would be something I’m working on for a while now, which is to depend less on external factors. In my work as a ceramicist, this means maybe start resourcing the clay directly from the ground around me so I don’t have to import material from Africa to make my pieces. See what is available in my surroundings to create my work. Maybe fire with wood instead of electricity. These are ideas that I’m playing with since a couple or years now. I would need to go away from the city in order to achieve this, which to me would be a pleasure… But it will take a while before I can do that. I’m only at the beginning of my career as a ceramicist so I need to solidify my work and my name around the world. I imagine a studio in the country side of France or Belgium, with accessibility to stones and clay, with space to make a wood oven, surrounded by trees and animals. It’s an idea that becomes stronger every day.
 
:)
 
 
 
Hey guys,
stay healthy and keep yourself safe.
 
Thanks for the opportunity to express myself.
 
Jojo
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https://jojocorvaia.com.de/
JOJO CORVÄIÀ _ ARTIST _ CERAMIST