Loadedware: GI Joe

Loadedware: GI Joe
Stoneware, oxide, glaze
10 x 35 x 35 in.

Throughout the history of the United States there have been perceived threats to our way of life, to which we have traditionally responded with military fervor.

This tradition is translated here into a teapot of GI Joe, the “Real American Hero”—defender of the free world and contributing sculptor of my childhood perception of the Armed Forces.

In Joe’s hands rests a Colt M1911 “.45 auto,” which in its clip, holds 7 rounds, one for each figurehead in this history lesson:

  • Sitting Bull
  • Adolf Hitler
  • Emperor Hirohito
  • Ho Chi Minh
  • Joseph Stalin
  • Saddam Hussein
  • Osama Bin Laden
To pour the tea you put the gun to their head.

he handle on the back of Joe is the means to control him; it is his orders. The controller of the teapot assumes the role of the American government in this tea ceremony.

While pouring tea into some of the cups reaffirms the presumption of good that is the American narrative, it is in taking the whole set out of the cupboard that exposes the shroud protecting our presumption.

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