REBECCA KELLER
If These Things Could Talk: Other Beauties (Dialogue)
2012
This second piece in the Object Stories series for the Portland Art Museum is a dialogue between two objects from non-European cultures: an ancient Chinese storage pot and a Tlinglit (native American) spoon carved from a sheep's horn. The dialogue explores their similarities and their differences, and mostly, becomes a meditation on their shared other-ness. It begins with the spoon remembering ts beginnings as a sheep's horn. The dialogue concludes with the Chinese vase comforting the spoon:

"See- we things made to be of use, we almost fit together. We have ourselves, our thing- ness, our otherness--the traces of the people that made us rubbed into our skins, the remembrance of their appetites, their names the people here cannot speak or spell spilling from their mouths...
So let's claim our otherness, since that is what is left us--
Our beauty that unsettles other beauties"
If These Things Could Talk: Other Beauties