Theaster Gates at Locust Projects Makes Art Expensive By Not Selling It

A Soul MFG Corp worker plies her ceramic trade
A Soul MFG Corp worker plies her ceramic trade
Swampdog
Theaster Gates isn't trying to sell you anything. 

And that's why his work, a labor performance called Soul Manufacturing Corporation, at Locust Projects in Little Haiti is worth so much money. The Chicago based artist is involved in a "poetic contemplation" on the intrinsic value of skilled labor in emerging economies. 

So he got a bunch of rich people and organizations to put the money up for friends of his to make ceramic bricks, bowls, and thingamajigs full time for a month in Miami in an open, "utopic" environment replete with yoga breaks, and poetry readings. We caught up with Theaster to learn more about his thinking. Here's what he had to say about making and not selling work.

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