This cross-disciplinary approach informs Silverman’s exhibition, which features two site-specific arrangements. The title, Occupation, is a statement of ambitious purpose that encourages multiple contradictory interpretations. Silverman’s pots can be understood as soldiers claiming territory, something they quite literally do in this, his second show at the gallery. Alternatively, this body of work can also be seen as a vision of a radical domesticity, a model for inhabitation referring back to Silverman’s background in architecture. The term ‘occupation’ may be read more literally, simply denoting the way that objects take up space and hold it.
Like performers on a stage, these pots assert a charismatic presence. Two multi-piece groupings, one black and one white, bring to mind contrasting troupes of dancers. This association is enhanced by the form of the pots. Though built from the standard units of functional pottery – ovoid bodies, thrown rims and feet – these elements are repositioned so as to suggest varied anthropomorphic poses. Indeed, Silverman refers to the pieces as “figures.” Within each installation, the configurations of the pots are “calculated and improvisational,” Silverman notes, much like the compositions of modern choreographers like Merce Cunningham. Additional nuance is achieved with sgraffito etched into the pot surfaces, and applied clay elements that suggest bodily costumes, armor or appendages.