Spore is inspired by the transformation of space: an environment is first built, eventually loses its function, and, at some point in the future, gives birth to a new purpose. I am fascinated by the period between these two lives, when changes are quietly taking place hidden from sight.
Recently a friend and I visited Craco, a ghost village on the top of a hill in Puglia, just at the arch of Italy's "boot". After first a landslide, then a flood, and finally an earthquake, the village that had been inhabited for more than 2000 years, was finally abandoned in the 1980's.
We climbed over a fence, walked through knee-high grass over cobblestones jumbled like the bed of a stream, passing half exposed houses. We walked through the dry air to the central piazza and passed, in silence, a tower, then down to where a stone slab wall punctuated the end of town.
There it was green. And red. Red with hundreds of pomegranates. A man in a wide-brimmed hat with a dog by his feet stopped, his hand paused, then returned to picking and throwing the fruit into the woven basket on his back. We left the town back the way we came.
When I first stepped into the Cooler Gallery's space, past the eight-inch thick door, into a box wrapped in beaten wood slats, I felt some sort of intimacy standing there under its ceiling stabbed with pipes. It isolated me from the outside noise. I imagined some form of life that had kept living and growing quietly inside, consuming the moisture and the residue left behind in this repurposed industrial ice box. In this exhibition, I wanted to make these creatures visible.
Photography by Nico Schinco
Yuko Nishikawa is a designer and ceramic artist based in Brooklyn, NY, specializing in lighting, installation, sculpture, vessels and tableware. She also runs a ceramic studio, Forest, and a monthly gathering of creative minds, Salon at Forest.