Ehren Tool: Production or Destruction

LOS ANGELES, CA — Former Marine and ceramist Ehren Tool exhibits war awareness work at the Craft and Folk Art Museum (CAFAM).

CAFAM will host an opening reception for Ehren Tool: Production or Destruction on Saturday, May 26 from 6:00 to 9:00 p.m.

This exhibition is generously sponsored by The Antonia and Vladimir Kulaev Cultural Heritage Fund and The Philip and Muriel Berman Foundation.

Exhibit Showing: May 27 – September 9, 2012

“The best way to destroy your enemy is to make him your friend.” – Abraham Lincoln

Emblazoned with the haunting imagery of armed conflict, Tool creates handmade ceramic cups as a medium to address war and the violent rhetoric and imagery used to perpetuate it. The exhibition will feature 1,000 handcrafted cups, video, installation, photographs, and printed materials.

Twenty years after his service in the first Gulf War, Tool’s firsthand contact with the reality of war is manifest in the thousands of cups he dutifully produces. The cups will be exhibited at CAFAM in “units” based on military formations of “squads” (13), “platoons” (55), and “companies” (225), serving as a visual reminder of each Marine within a military unit. Each cup is uniquely crafted, decorated with ceramic decals of soldiers’ photos, propaganda, war porn, and sculptural reliefs shaped like bombs, guns, or medals.

Recent events such as the Occupy movements and the incendiary language of current election campaigns figure strongly in his new work, as well as veteran suicides and stories of U.S. Marines desecrating bodies of the deceased. Other imagery alludes to the culpability of video games, toys, and pornography in desensitizing the public to the emotional toll of war.

Exhibit Review:

Sgt Dillie’s Thoughts:  “It is amazing the kind of dramatic energy you can get even from something as simple as a pot.”

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