Black // May 2017


Dissected & Articulated

Contemporary ceramic works by Maya Vivas

The concept of this series originates from the artist's own hypochondriac tendencies, mixed with ideas of elegance, sensuality, & body horror.


There is a long history throughout the world of colonization, and the use of blackness as a commodity. Everything from physical bodies to music has been forcibly made available for white consumption. These works implicate the viewer as a participant in the capitalistic game of purchasing black goods.

What gives this medium its color is the high concentration of manganese, which is harmless when fired, but prolonged exposure to its raw from can lead to manganese toxicity. Symptoms of this include tremors, facial muscle spasms, and difficulty walking, often preceded by psychiatric symptoms such as irritability, aggressiveness, and hallucinations. Parallels can be drawn between the black experience and manganese toxicity. To have breath in a black body is hazardous to one's health.