Damián Ortega’s wonderful show at the Fruitmarket explores the extent to which the aesthetic is fundamental to human nature
Our relationship with clay is as old as our humanity. It was one of the first things to distinguish us from the other animals. Others use tools, but to take the earth itself and to make things that are useful, and which from the very start were also beautiful, set us apart. It is a witness that we are not just a toolmaking species, but one to which the aesthetic is fundamental, an integral part of our nature. In his art, Damián Ortega uses clay to reflect on themes like these, though always with a light touch.