Jo White

Derivative 1, 2022

30 cm
The 2002 IKEA PS Vållö polypropylene watering can was designed by Dutch designer Monika Mulder to be stackable, to save costs for shipping and logistics, and stylish enough to be on display when not in use. 20 years and many colour changes later it is still in production (and has been copied by other manufacturers) and you can still buy one for just a few dollars. Here, this most anodyne vessel creates its own iterations. DERIVATIVE 1 is cast in fine Southern Ice Porcelain. The resulting piece shrinks upon firing, and becomes the model for a subsequent, smaller mould. The cast forms are used to cast the next, and each instance of use dilutes the function. The carrying capacity is never as high as that which it took to make it – the watering can has become a jug, a bowl, a cup, a dish, and ceases to exist. These ‘pots in a row’ are not intended to be installed in any particular geography – their inherent associations are through their means of production, not spatial relationships. The initial conception creates the remainder of the work and the derivative work ceases to be relevant. In DERIVATIVE 1, the use of the vessels renders them obsolete. Out of interest, the Vållö watering can is a pretty terrible jug for pouring porcelain slip.
Jo White works primarily with slipcast ceramics. Her work is informed by her Industrial Design training and studies in Visual Arts, and often incorporates self-referential literality or wordplay as access points. With a focus on the components and textures of everyday life, she is currently exploring how production processes, materiality, and the relationships between objects and function relate to aesthetic value.
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