Liliana Folta: Inhale-Exhale-Explode, 2009/10, ceramic installation, oxides, glazes, wood, high temp wire, 14x12x4in (each)
Annie Woodford: Piercing Rim, detail, 2007
Ebru Özseçen: True Love Soul Mate / RAMPA İstanbul, Turkey
March 02 — April 07, 2012
Ebru Özseçen combines her experience in the fields of architecture, design and contemporary art to explore different aspects of psychological and sociological relationship between space and body. Her work presents great diversity; ranging from urban intervention to sculpture and objects, from photography to video, from film installations to drawings. The artist is concerned with the dualities of inside/ outside and public/private; and explores individual memory in contemporary society. Ebru Özseçen investigates the seemingly mundane to expose its magical and unseen aspects. She reveals a space where fantasy and memory hide in plain sight.
It is impossible to disregard the gender aspect in Özseçen’s work, in which she indiscriminately plays with the androgynous form – the phallus, vulva, uterus or scrotum. At times pushing the boundaries of pornographic obscenity, the artist always places erotic intensity in the foreground. On the other hand, in many of her works it is possible to see Özseçen driven by her deep-seated admiration for the tradition of artisanship. The artist is drawn to the sensual quality of the form and the beauty of a well-accomplished object. This approach invites us to interpret the artist’s practice from a new perspective. Özseçen’s sharp gaze on the form, and her romantic obsession with the beautiful, the pure, and the unsoiled confront us as sharp yet sensitive, violent yet graceful works that have been refined in the hands of a craftsman.
Özseçen’s new work, Gerçek Aşk Gönül Eşi / True Love Soul Mate (2011), which will constitute the backbone of the exhibition at Rampa, is comprised of over 100 separate glass pieces. This work is realized in collaboration with Mayer of Munich and Glasshütte Lamberts, which are among the most prominent handmade glass studios of the world that has for the first time opened its doors to contemporary arts for this work. Each piece is produced in different sizes and forms with hours of effort in 1450-degree ovens. Recalling many of Özseçen’s work, heat once more emerges as a dominating component in this work, both as a physical force and as an allegory. For this work, the artist divulges that “the concept of true love and soul mate employed in the title should be sought not in the realm of romantic love, but rather in companionship, camaraderie as signified in the craftsman’s delicate touch on the objects he has amorously devoted himself to.” Installing two of her works of the same form together, one from the beginning and the other from the most recent phase of her career, Özseçen incites the audience to trace a playful phantom form.
Seiko Mikami - Desire of Codes
This installation by Seiko Mikami, consisting of three parts, is currently set up in YCAM - Yamaguchi Center for Arts and Media. Large number of tentacles-like devices with built-in cameras are placed across a huge wall, while six robotic “search arms” equipped with cameras and projectors are suspended from the ceiling tracking the visitors. Data is collected and assembled, presenting elements of past and present back to the viewer. Video
MODERN TALKING, Museum of Art Cluj-Napoca, Romania
February 15 - April 15, 2012
The Museum of Art in Cluj-Napoca is hosting the group exhibition entitled “Modern Talking”, featuring contemporary artists whose works are challenging the conventions of painting and its legacy. Through the work of the invited artists, the visitor will be able to re-conceptualize the traditional acception of painting, which is no longer restricted to the oil-on-canvas formula, but offers a multitude of other alternatives. Fabric, metal, found objects, conceptual statements, flamboyant actions, installations and sculptures, all of these are putting forward an extended understanding of the medium; today, painting is expanded, painting is overall.
Sonia Almeida (PT); Mark Barrow (US); Baldur Geir Bragason (IS); Vittorio Brodmann (CH); Ana Cardoso (PT); Aline Cautis (US); Radu Comşa (RO); Ann Craven (US); Francesca DiMattio (US); Ida Ekblad (NO); Enzo Giordano (IT); Heather Guertin (US); Davíð Örn Halldórsson (IS); Ingunn Fjóla Ingþórsdóttir (IS); Jacob Kassay (US); Gilda Mautone (IT); Florin Maxa (RO); Dan Măciucă (RO); Elizabeth Neel (US); Ylva Ogland (SE); Paloma Presents [Urs Zahn & Roman Gysin] (CH); Zak Prekop (US); Jo Robertson (UK); Małgorzata Szymankiewicz (PL); Patricia Treib (US); Daniel Turner (US); Garth Weiser (US).
Special project by Sarah Ortmeyer (DE).
Organizers: Nicola Trezzi and Daria D. Pervain, in collaboration with Ewa Gorządek, Helena Kontova, and Giancarlo Politi.
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→ The full interview with Marianne McGrath is featured in Ceramics Now Magazine - Issue Two.
Ceramics Now Magazine: Before starting a career in ceramics you studied Biology. In relation to your line of work, how would you characterize the relationship between Biology and Ceramics?
Marianne McGrath: I believe my study of biology helped create the artist I am today: one that works by questioning what surrounds me, and by creating objects based on observation in a very systematic manner. Artists, like biologists, work from direct observation and immersion in the environment around them, and are forever attempting to interpret this world.
Both groups employ creative means to achieve this. I grew up on a farm in Southern California, one my family had farmed for four generations, surrounded by this natural world that was under the direct manipulation of the human hand to serve human needs. I believe I was drawn to study biology in college because growing up immersed in this agrarian landscape and was incredibly interested in the idea that we, as humans, have this ability to define, control, and use the natural world that surrounds us, yet we also have an imperative responsibility as a species to maintain this world.
In my final semester in college, I took a ceramics class, the first art class I had ever formally taken. I was immediately overwhelmed by the questions I found artists asking, by the responses that they drew from their audience, and the simple fact that they were using dirt, one of the most basic components of the natural world, to create. This type of communication and way of thinking drew me in and I decide to completely change the direction of my life. I found that my voice was much more attuned to express my concerns of the livelihood of the natural world through the means of art than through my study of biology.
In the studio today, I find myself working in much of the same manner as I used to in the biology lab: trying to find the answer to a particular question. I also recognize my history as a student of biology in my draw to clay’s ability to be manipulated at all levels of its creation, whether its in the mixing and altering of a slip, or in the potential of atmospheric firings. I use this characteristic of clay as the basis of communication in my works.
What I See, What I Saw II, 2011, unfired earthenware, plywood, steel rod, wax, 4’h x 10’l x 20’x - View her works
You use unconventional techniques in very interesting ways, like unfired earthenware and wax. Tell us more about these methods and the creation process.
The medium of clay itself creates a very heavy material metaphor. Artists, I believe, are drawn to it for it’s malleability, its ability to record the touch of the human hand, and the sense of permanence it retains once fired. Unfired clay, especially at the bone-dry stage, is incredibly fragile and ephemeral-it can be dissolved or broken down immediately. The impermanence that clay retains at this stage struck me as incredibly meaningful, and I thus employed it to convey the meaning that I wished for in my work.
Marianne McGrath: Home Landscape Studies III, 2008, earthenware, plywood, steel rod, 12’h x 20’d x 20’w
Marianne McGrath: Home Landscape Studies III (detail), 2008
Marianne McGrath: “Maybe we can grow something on top of it all…” (detail), 2010
Marianne McGrath: “Maybe we can grow something on top of it all…”, 2010, unfired earthenware, plywood, string, wax, 5’ x 5’ x 5’
Marianne McGrath: Home Landscape Studies II, 2007, earthenware, steel rod, dimensions variable
Marianne McGrath: Roots, 2010, earthenware, tree roots, 5’h x 18”l x 5’d
Marianne McGrath: Fenced, 2011, porcelain, wire, reclaimed wood, 7’h x 3’1 x3’d
Marianne McGrath: What I See, What I Saw II (detail), 2011
Marianne McGrath: What I See, What I Saw II, 2011, unfired earthenware, plywood, steel rod, wax, 4’h x 10’l x 20’x