Craft and the Polymorphous Perverse

The front cover of the catalogue "Making Otherwise Craft and Material Fluency in Contemporary Art" shows white text superimposed overtop of an image of an artwork by Marc Courtmanche. The artwork image is a closeup of hammers with teal and wooden handles piled up together.
Making Otherwise: Craft and Material Fluency in Contemporary Art, edited by Heather Anderson, Carleton University Art Gallery, Cambridge Art Galleries, Mount Saint Vincent University Art Gallery, Ottawa, Cambridge, and Halifax, 2018. 

“Craft and the Polymorphous Perverse”

This essay was commissioned for the catalogue of “Making Otherwise,” a touring exhibition of contemporary craft works by six artists, Richard Boulet, Marc Courtemanche, Ursula Johnson, Sarah Maloney, Paul Mathieu and Janet Morton. The exhibition’s curator, Heather Anderson, uses the concept of “otherwise” to bring together and think through their divergent works, that promiscuously move across disciplinary and sensory boundaries. In my text, I bring the psychoanalytic concepts of ambivalence, the polymorphous perverse, shame, and the real into closer relation with craft theory and queer theory. This text contributes to an emerging body of writing that seeks to “queer” craft discourse and understandings of material.

About anthea black

Artist, writer, art publisher.