Materia prima: The 17 edition of Parcours Céramique Carougeois
September 17-25, 2022
What do ceramics and alchemy have in common? How is this discipline surrounded by mystery inspiring today’s artists? These are some of the questions that will be explored during the 17th edition of the Parcours Céramique Carougeois (PCC), organised by the Bruckner Foundation.
Between 17 and 25 September, the works of 22 artists will be exhibited at different venues around Carouge (Geneva, Switzerland), such as galleries, shops and at Halles de la Fonderie. The biennial will be enlivened with guided tours, children’s workshops and demonstrations. Furthermore, the month of September will abound with events related to ceramics, with the continuation of the 50th Congress of the International Academy of Ceramics (IAC) taking place, too.
Ceramics, an alchemical art
Behind the well-known formula there are numerous hidden links. Other than the obvious transformation of matter, there are more things that unite these two disciplines, such as the empirical work involved, a spiritual quest, and the search for greatness for those who practice them. And we will find many clues as to that in the works of the artists who will be exhibiting at the different venues of the Parcours.
Plastician Aline Morvan, for example, will be presenting at Halles de la Fonderie her work on funeral rituals, showcasing the transformation of earth during an original performance. Tami Izko, on her part, will link with alchemy by elevating an unpleasant, everyday experience to a work of art.
The concept of experimentation is especially visible in the creations of Jean-Paul Azaïs who, as a modern alchemist, works on the reactions between smoky clay and oxides to sublimate his pots and jars.
Finally, the idea of a miniature world duplicated in the laboratory of demiurge alchemists is echoed in the meticulous and delicate work of Anne-Sophie Guerinaud and in Claire Lindner’s evocations, which mix vegetable, animal and mineral components.
The Quest for Eternity
“The ultimate goal of alchemy is to discover the philosopher’s stone, which would allow for the transmutation of lead into gold, but also to realise the panacea or the universal remedy for immortality, and hence to provide greatness for the person who possessed it. Ceramists are alchemists in that they have a similar goal, as well as a potentially subconscious desire, to achieve immortality through their work”, explains Émilie Fargues, head of the Bruckner Foundation.
Events for All Kinds of Audiences
The first edition of the Parcours Céramique Carougeois was held in 1989 and it has always been a free event. It is a convivial and international event which invites the public to get to know artists through their exhibitions in shops and galleries and offers a rich and varied programme, including guided tours, demonstrations and children’s workshops. And, of course, there is the famous Café céramique, which allows the public to admire – and purchase if they so wish – the cups and mugs they use at the café and which are the craft work of the members of the association Swissceramics.
Over 100 Ceramists Will Exhibit Their Work All Over Switzerland
Contemporary ceramics will be celebrated all around Switzerland in September, from Solothurn to Neuchâtel, and Yverdon to Geneva. Throughout the month, there will be exhibitions and events taking place at the same time as the 50th Congress of the International Academy of Ceramics, the association of professional ceramists, which will be held from 12 to 16 September.
Photos © Fondation Bruckner