Come See “Flo(we){u}R” at the (Anti)Wrecking Ball

With everyone at PAM working to finalize this year’s (Anti)Wrecking Ball  — pre-register here! — it seemed like a good time to recognize the other groups using the Soap Factory that night. In addition to Art-A-Whirl, the Soap Factory gallery will feature a new exhibit called “FLO(we){u}R.” Check out the Soap Factory‘s release on the event, and get ready for an explosive evening of food, music and preservation at the (Anti)Wrecking Ball.

The Soap Factory presents FLO(we){u}R, a performative ceramics manufacturing project based on World War I military targeting technology. Artists Amber Ginsburg and Joseph Madrigal will reinstate production within the Soap Factory, converting the space into a WWI terra cotta clay bomb factory.

FLO(we){u}R highlights a little known detail of American history. Beginning in 1914 terra cotta factories, which produced the decorative facades on buildings in downtowns across the United States, were commissioned to make ceramic test bombs for the military. Historically, the ceramic bombs were filled with baking flour and dropped from airplanes. The white marks made by the broken shells allowed early pilots to calibrate their targeting. The Soap Factory’s location in Minneapolis’ historic milling district lends rich context to the humble materials filling each bomb.

The Soap Factory’s gallery space will house a full scale bomb manufacturing facility and all aspects of production will be on display, from clay mixing through molding to drying.  Over the course of the project, labor will accumulate in the form of dummy test bombs. Two variations of the terra cotta dummy bomb will be produced based on original WWI blueprints. One model is fired for use as a seed shaker. The second model is un-fired will be used for test launches and a one time seed dispersal at the end of the exhibition. These seeding will leave new white blooming mark on the landscape.

During FLO(we){u}R,  the audience will not only be able to see production in process; they will be able to interact with the dummy test bombs in multiple ways.  Deviating from the military’s intentions towards accuracy and destruction, the interactive and performative elements will address dispersion and formation. Ginsburg and Madrigal use history and metaphor to insert a poetic undoing of the bombs’ military past. Gallery visitors are encouraged to fill bombs with a custom dispersal mix of flour and white blooming seed mixes. This mix will be scattered throughout Minneapolis by on artist-led seed walks throughout the Minneapolis Park system or by bicycle on seed rides. In this way, the artists reverse the military precision of aerial targeting and allow for a more open-ended random dispersal.

An additional seed scattering event is scheduled for June 9th during the Northern Spark Festival. A full schedule of artist talks, seed rides and events will be available at www.soapfactory.org

About the artists:
Joseph Madrigal is a ceramic artist living in Kalamazoo Michigan and currently teaching ceramics and sculpture at Kalamazoo College. He earned his MFA in ceramics at Illinois State University.
Amber Ginsburg is a ceramic artist living in Chicago Illinois and currently teaching at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. She studied ceramics at Illinois State University, Normal and the School of the Art Institute of Chicago.

OPENING RECEPTION: April 28th, 7-11pm

BIKE BOMB SEED SHAKER RIDES
May 6th to Bancroft Meadows: departs 12:00pm
May 13th to Theodore Wirth Park: departs 3:00pm
May 20th  14th St & Quincy St NE: departs 3:00pm

ARTIST TALKS         

May 4th  8:00 pm
May 19th  4:00 pm
May 25th  8:00pm

TALKING IMAGE CONNECTION:  FLO(we){u}R Power, May 12th 8pm

CLOSING EVENT AND MOLD SALE:  May 26th  7:00 – 11pm

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