- The Recovered Bottle Project
May 13th ~ March 12th ~ February 14th
January 4th (detail)
January 5th (with box, scrolls and book)
The Recovered Bottle Project
The idea behind the Recovered Bottle Project is to build community through the gifting process.
Gifting has a long history of uniting new families and tribes together while securing lasting bonds. In the past, artists created such things as copper masks, weapons and baskets as insurance for the survival of the generations to come. The Recovered Bottle Project was developed out of these ideas: as insurance for the survival of the generations of alcoholics to come.
The disease of alcoholism is powerful. It has the ability to destroy a community. As a child I witnessed the destruction of my family, yet went on to recreate the same scenario as an adult. I had not learn the simple truth: that what I put out into the world would come back into my life: fear, anger, lies, and helplessness. Finally, my problem brought me to the point where I would humbly ask another human being for help.
In the eyes of the alcoholic, the bottle is the symbol of power, the container that holds the magic elixir that solves all problems. I find them discarded on every street corner in my gang-infested neighborhood. In early sobriety, I hated seeing them, thinking they were the cause of my pain. But in later years I would see them as attempts at transformation.Today, while I pick up bottles I am reminded once more of someone else’s attempt.
The Recovered Bottle Project began in 1996. Since then many people, alcoholics and non-alcoholics have become part of the project (keeping them for one year and then passing them on). These bottles have no ownership and many tell me of the difficulty in passing the bottle on to another person. Others tell me that the exchange, of transforming from receiver to giver, is a powerful experience.
The scrolls inside the bottles contain universal truths that I discover in my daily life. I find them in books, movies, and from general conversations I hear on the streets.
Soon after the project started I began tracking the exchange. I am interested in visually seeing the community they are creating. I have also created a series of Collectors’ Bottles, which are not given away, for those who want to own them.
JoJo Razor holds an MFA from the San Francisco Art Institute and has exhibited nationally and internationally since 1991. She has been involved in the California music scene as a vocalist, musician and performer for over 20 years.Β
While most of her art deals with addiction and the hell that comes with overcoming it, she is most optimistic at what she has found. While digging around in hell, she discovered the reflective shards of wisdom, insight and enchantment. As a trained alcoholigist, she has begun piecing those pieces together in a new body of performance art called; “The Dead of Winter Forest,” a 7 chapter solo performance book.Β Β She is currently working on the second part of Chapter 3 with director David Ford and will be performing in December 2009 at The Marsh, San Francisco, CA. To view chapter 1 please go to: http://www.youtube.com/jojorazor