DISCLAIMER: You know the drill, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah.
Last week I went to the Station Museum of Contemporary Art where I met the clumsiest man alive, Carlos Runcie-Tanaka. This poor man breaks more plates than the Earth’s lithosphere, which doesn’t actually break plates, but shifts them, which is beside the point.
Before we talk about that, let’s discuss how utterly disappointed I was to find out that the Station is not actually a station, nor is it a museum of and about stations either. When you visit the place, don’t expect to fill up your car with gas or transfer from one train to another or learn about why KUHF picked call letters that don’t even spell a word.
Since this is a discussion, you are supposed to say something. I’ll just wait until you do. Take your time. I need to finish writing this anyway.
Despite being disappointed to find out that the Station is not the go to place for huffers, I was excited to find out that it is the place to go to if bocce ball is more in line with your idea of good time, thanks to the recession.
After several really great, but financially devastating ideas, including a two state solution, a basketball court/movie theater, and a museum for decorated cars, Harithas turned the fiduciary brainstorming over to his go to guys, Alan D. Schnitzer, Vice Chairman and chief legal officer for Travelers Insurance, and Japanese tap sensation Keiijiro Suzuki, aka Masahisa Segawa. After smoking a bunch of cigarettes, Schnitzer and Suzuki jumped on their bikes, rode across town, jumped off their bikes, had difficulty breathing and held their chests, jumped on their bikes again, and rode back across town, momentarily forgetting the task at hand.
Luckily at that point, in walks or rather in trips Carlos Runcie-Tanaka, carrying an armload of plates. Carlos Runcie-Tanaka has been described by some as the most unfortunate, albeit most talented ceramicist alive. Not only was he kidnapped by the Tupac Amaru Revolutionary Movement in 1996, and more recently subjected to open heart surgery, he is also a klutz beyond compare. Says the artist about his affliction, “I have two left feet. I some how or the other break every thing I make.”
In an attempt to force his plates, bowels, saucers and cups back into their original shapes after breakage, Runcie-Tanaka began, in 1987, inserting neodymium magnets into the clay before placing the work in the kiln. Because he fires the clay at such high temperatures (13,000,000,000,000 degrees Celsius) the neodymium magnets curve, causing the broken shards to reform into ball like shapes, rather than plates, bowls, etc.
Says Zach Moser, a recent Bocce convert, “You can’t be a woose and play this game. Oh yeah, and wear a pair of gloves. I didn’t the first time and cut the hell out of my hands.”
Beginning in September, those who are interested can sign up for the Station Bocce League, which will meet daily at 6 a.m. for prayer and practice.
also by Beth Secor
- "The Art of Gaman" at the Holocaust Museum Houston - July 28th, 2015
- Marilyn Minter: Pretty/Dirty at Contemporary Art Museum Houston - June 3rd, 2015
- Perry House at d.m. allison gallery, Houston - May 20th, 2015
- eState Sale - January 24th, 2012
- Beth Secor’s Observations on the Texas Contemporary Art Fair - October 31st, 2011