woensdag 15 december 2010

abject art

Orly nezer wrote an article on abject art and mentioned my installation Pieta 2010

The concept of Abject in art and the potential of ceramic art in the representation of “the other”.

The writing of the prologue for this article was made possible by a two-week trip to China’s pottery districts. The culinary generosity of our host at the Third conference of the International Ceramic Magazines Editors Association (Icmea), included the head of the roast duck with its eye gazing from the plate, spiced fingers of chicken, chopped meat served with bones, cartilage and skin, and trembling cubes of clotted blood.

What was for my dear Chinese friends daily, or delicatessen food, was, for me, suitable for photography but by no means perceived as appropriate for putting in my mouth.

What is the despicable and what is Abject?
Despicable: contemptible, despised, sleazy, groveling, worthless, wretched, snotty, slavish, menial, picayune. The despicable consists of those elements, especially of the body, which threaten to violate the feeling of cleanliness or adequacy, which are perceived as not pure and unworthy to be displayed, for a public debate: discharge, feces and urine, vomit, blood, internal body parts, corpse, incest or pedophilia.
The term “Abject” was developed by the philosopher Julia M. Kristeva in her book from 1980 “Powers of Horror:

An Essay in Abjection”. The concept of “Abject” indicates what was removed from the body as a discharge and was made “other”. Kristeva describes the “experience of being” as a dialectical experience, fraught with internal tensions that sexuality and fear control them in different ways. By doing so, she exposes the human conflict regarding the Abject: what came out of me is indeed despicable, but what came out of me was in me and so is part of who I am. Dealing with this conflict makes Abject the junction of the phobia, obsession and perversion. Religion has defined Abject as impurity that requires a complete set of prohibitions and purification ceremonies that take place in all religions and societies.

Abject Art
The roots of Abject Art are in the early twentieth century in the works of Surrealist artists. But only in the sixties, with the outbreak of feminine art, the despicable has received a significant place in artistic practice. That is since the female body functions in particular are despised by the patriarchal social order. The Abject undermines the identity, the system, and does not respect borders, positions and rules. Abject art practice is based on materials that are considered “low”. That is preoccupation with prohibited organs, disruption of patterns, fragmentation, penetration and voyeurism, Intertextuality, borrowing cultural and religious symbols, traumatic phrases, ritual performances, innovative and feminist theological interpretations. Expression of artists contains diverse aspects of cultural criticism: political, social, gender and religious.
In 1993 the Whitney Museum, New York, staged an exhibition titled Abject Art: Repulsion and Desire in American Art, which made the term known in the art world.

The Despicable that leech on the beauty

Ceramics represents something very domestic, and ceramic works that deal with Abject, abuse an innocent approach to ceramics which is usually associated with beauty and visual pleasure. The figurine, for example, is a fertile ground to show various aspects of the Abject, taking advantage of the expectation from the figurine to show a daily pleasant situation. Justin Novak in his work “Disfigurine Number 47″ is riding on the viewer’s complacency when watching a porcelain figurine, and undermines the sense of comfort with a surprising image of a girl stitching her own skin. The practice of “the despicable” with the starting point of the ceramics’ stereotype of beauty is found in the work of Grayson Perry, winner of the 2009 British Turner Prize for art. Perry creates vases with a classic look, but when examined closely we reveal scenes of pedophilia, masturbation and abuse of children. Another approach would be not through the narrative as it appears in the figurines or image on vases, but by creating objects that produce that kind of contexts that creates, in the viewer, a sense of threat or alarm. Artist Juz kitson suggests in her 2010 series “Just a few Temptations” the troubling connection between Abject and beauty, by entering the viewers to a distorted world made of beautiful and at the same time repelling fleshy bits.

The container of the despicable

A powerful starting point for dealing with the Abject is the container, and the function of containment of the despicable. Ceramics is used in this case as a metaphor for the body containing the Abject or, alternatively, as a receptacle for the despicable removed from the body. That is, if I can’t contain it, the ceramics container can (or will!). Marek Cecula’s hygiene series simulates a containing body on the one hand, but on the other is engaged with pouring, drainage or containment of fluids, saliva, urine, feces or blood that were removed from the body. On the same time resonates hygiene of hospitals, with all its deterring context. Artist Kim Dickey in her “Lady D Series” 1996 has created a series of beautiful funnels for the use of women standing while urinating.

The despicable among the technique
In the craft that is technique and skill-based we find visual expressions of the despicable among the technique itself. A good example is the works of the “Mad Potter” George Ohr (1857-1918), who worked in the middle of the 19th century. Times when appreciated potters were expected to demonstrate work that testify an outstanding control in technique. His body of work has been despised and rejected by his colleagues, but today is considered the most radical of his time.
Looking for the despicable among the technique itself, invites a new and fascinating reading of ceramic works. For instance exposing the presence of the despicable in the destructive actions of the artist, who does not respect rules and techniques and creates distortions and cracks. Artist Birgit Saupe in here work “Sheep” 2010 combines her interest with the abnormal and the dark side of science while ignoring technical codes and challenging the technology of ceramics.

Artist Wilma Bosland in her series “Pieta” 2010 is dealing with the universal bereavement and the temporariness of the body through using the moist and plastic stage of the clay, when clay still looks organic and fleshy. Bosland stretches as far as possible the plasticity of the clay and causes its failure. The work was tossed away at the end of the exhibition.

I recall another direction of taking the technology of ceramics as a starting point to engage with despicable or inappropriate. It was in the exhibition at the Israeli art school (Hamidrasha) in 2009 in where the student Idit Bar-Tal has introduced a series of preliminary work on the wheel which she marked with the different percentages of grog component in the clay mixture. This action aroused in me
thoughts on the human components and of the degree of its adequacy.

Cracks, unwanted leakage of glazing, distortion due to “memory of the clay”, mistakes while working with molds, all could be considered despicable in certain periods. But certainly not today, when “anything goes”, even with ceramics. So what can be an expression of Abject today? The despicable is cultural originated and in contemporary time it is a subjective idea. That is, the perception of the viewer is what makes it despicable. We also realize that once the despicable is handled by art it stops being so. That is, inside the walls of the gallery we stopped being agitated when we come across a work dealing with sexual identity, urine and blood. On the contrary, I can see how despicable could be found in the preoccupation with elderly, radical or traditional communities in a world that is at its edge of tolerance. Or, what about ceramics in the art world? In this context, ceramics has a great potential in representing the “other”. It was said already that art is a language, and ceramics is a dialect. To date, if we place pottery on the side of art, ceramics is “the other” (not to say Abject!). If so, imagine a vase in an exhibition of contemporary art: how much energy of “the outsider” it can be charged with.


Dewald, Gabi, “No Title”, think Thank, 6th Edition 2009

Kristeva,M., Julia, “Powers of Horror:

An Essay in Abjection”, 1980, Columbia University press, NY.
for illustration see the link

woensdag 10 november 2010

Installation Pietà 2010 in Schloss Gottorf, Schlesswig, Germany

Oktober 2010.

The opening was at 5 december 2010, also with works of Birgit Saupe (Germany), Orly Nezer (Israel) and Biljana Milenovic Stojanovic (Servie)
The works are the result of the 1 International Ceramic Symposium Neumunster 2010

Orly Nezer Biljana Milenovic Stojanovic

Birgit Saupe

Die Ergebnisse des Internationalen Keramiksymposiums

© Foto: Dannenberg/Schloss Gottorf
Bild:12Mit einer neuen Ausstellung im Kreuzstall lenkt das Landesmuseum für Kunst und Kulturgeschichte den Blick der Besucher auf die Abteilung Kunsthandwerk. Denn mit der gegenwärtigen, im Frühjahr 2010 neugeordneten Präsentation des modernen Kunsthandwerks thematisiert das Landesmuseum unter der Abteilungsleitung von Dr. Ulrich Schneider im Dachgeschoss des Kreuzstalls die Frage »Wie Ausstellen?«, indem zwei sehr unterschiedliche Konzepte miteinander konfrontiert werden.

Mit der temporären Darbietung der Ergebnisse des 1. Internationalen Keramiksymposiums Neumünster 2010 gesellt sich nun die Frage »Was Ausstellen?« hinzu. Und das, obwohl die kunsthandwerkliche Sammlung des Landesmuseums durch ihren systematischen Ausbau besonders der keramischen Arbeiten in den achtziger und neunziger Jahren zu bundesweiter Bekanntheit gelangt ist. Bei vielen Arbeiten steht jedoch der Aspekt eines kunstvoll geformten und individuell verfeinerten Gebrauchsgegenstandes hinter dem offensiv zur Schau gestellten Anspruch eines autonomen Kunstwerkes zurück. Dieser Widerstreit zwischen Kunsthandwerk und Kunst durchzieht die Gottorfer Sammlung. Die Überwindung des tradierten Werkbegriffes wird beispielsweise in der Installation von Claudia Ameluxen aus dem Jahr 1995 deutlich. Und um diesen Widerstreit verstärkt in das Bewusstsein der Betrachter zu rücken, um sich vorsätzlich mit dieser Entwicklung auseinanderzusetzen, hat Dr. Ulrich Schneider – am Landesmuseum u.a. zuständig für das Kunsthandwerk – die vier teilnehmenden Künstlerinnen des 1. Internationalen Keramiksymposiums Neumünster zu einer Ausstellung in den Kreuzstall von Schloss Gottorf eingeladen.
Orly Nezer kommt aus Israel, ist als Künstlerin international aktiv und arbeitet auch als Kunsterzieherin an der Schule für Kunst, Gesellschaft und Kultur in Sapir. Sie ist zudem Vorstandsmitglied beim Magazin “1280 º C“ des Verbandes der Keramikkünstlerinnen und -künstler Israels. Ihre Texte wurden in internationalen Zeitschriften veröffentlicht. Orly Nezer hat bereits in den USA, Europa und auf wichtigen Ausstellungen in Israel ihre Arbeiten gezeigt.

Wilma Bosland wurde 1956 geboren und kommt aus den Niederlanden. Sie lebt und arbeitet in Amsterdam und zeigt ihre Arbeiten regelmäßig in der Amsterdamer Galerie de Witte Voet. Seit den 90er Jahren war sie schon an verschiedenen Orten in Europa zu sehen. 2006 wurde Sie für die 14. Internationale Keramik Biennale in Vallauris (Frankreich) nominiert. Sie unterrichtet Keramik in den Kunstschulen in Amsterdam und Castricum.

Biljana Milenovic Stojanovic wurde 1975 in Belgrad in Serbien geboren. 2002 beendete Sie die Fakultät für angewandte Kunst und Design im Bereich Keramik bei Prof. Velimir Vukicevic. Es folgten Einzel- und Gruppenausstellungen. 2006 erhielt sie den großen Preis der 12. Kunstkeramik Triennale in Subotica/Belgrad.

Birgit Saupe wurde in Dresden geboren. Nach einer Grafikausbildung studierte sie ab 2005 an der Muthesius Kunsthochschule Kiel Freie Kunst und Keramik bei Frau Prof. Kerstin Abraham. 2008 erhielt sie ihren Bachelorabschluss, dem ein Masterstudiengang folgte. Im Verlauf des Studiums war sie bereits an mehreren Ausstellungen und Keramikpreisen beteiligt, wie dem Keramikpreis der Frechener Kulturstiftung (2009), dem „Richard – Bampi – Preis“ im Hetjenmuseum Düsseldorf sowie an Ausstellungen in Gmunden, München, London und Bergen.

trans|formation lautete der Leitgedanke, den die Stipendiatin der Dr. Hans Hoch Stiftung Neumünster, Danijela Pivašević-Tenner, als Arbeitsthema für das Keramiksymposium auswählte. Transformation, Umwandlung und Umgestaltung ist zugleich auch ein Gesichtspunkt, unter dem das moderne Kunsthandwerk seit rund einem halben Jahr in unserer neuen Präsentation auf Gottorf zu sehen ist. Beide Ansätze hängen nicht nur durch die Begrifflichkeit eng miteinander zusammen. Durch die Ausstellung der Ergebnisse des Keramiksymposiums öffnen sich ein Fenster in Grenzbereiche keramischen Arbeitens, deren Heimat nicht mehr das traditionelle Kunsthandwerk sein kann, deren Akzeptanz im »Orchestergraben« arrivierter Bildhauerei sich jedoch noch nicht durchgesetzt hat.
1.Internationales Keramiksymposium Neumünster 2010 trans|formation

Die Ergebnisse werden gezeigt vom 5. Dezember 2010 – 15. Mai 2011

im Dachgeschoss Kreuzstall / Schloss Gottorf

Katalog: 60 Seiten, zahlreiche Abbildungen, 7,00 Euro

Öffnungszeiten: Dienstag-Freitag 10 bis 16 Uhr; Sonnabend und Sonntag 10 bis 17 Uhr; montags geschlossen. Am 24., 25. und 31. Dezember sowie am 01. Januar sind die Museen auf der Schleswiger Schlossinsel geschlossen.

zondag 17 oktober 2010

Wilma Bosland en Teska Seligmann in de Cirkel te Heemskerk

Wilma Bosland en Teska Seligmann exposeren hun werk van 24 oktober t/m 5 december in cultureel centrum de Cirkel te Heemskerk.

opening zondagmiddag 24 oktober 14.00 uur
De Cirkel 1

De kunstenaars over elkaar
Wilma over Teska: voor mij is dat een van de herkenningspunten in de schilderijen van Teska Seligmann. Ze ogen in eerste instantie abstract, maar ik herken een zelfde soort zoeken naar menselijke maten en verhoudingen. Onze beelden spelen beiden het spel van met abstracte middelen toch bepaalde (emotionele?) associaties op te wekken. Een ander herkenningspunt is denk ik ook de liefde voor ons materiaal en de lol om daarmee te werken: de geur van terpentijn en het gevoel van klei.
Wat ik in haar schilderijen voor het eerst echt tastbaar zie of ervaar is de ruimtelijke werking van kleuren. Als beeldhouwer ben je vooral met vorm bezig maar ervaar je wel degelijk dat de kleur van je materiaal of de kleur die je toevoegt door engobes of glazuren een vorm kan maken of breken. In de schilderijen van Teska zie je wat kleur doet met vormen in een ruimte maar ook met de sfeer.
Teska over Wilma: wat mij in eerste instantie fascineert in het werk van Wilma is hoe zulke "versteende"(gebakken) materie zó wulps, aanraakbaar en levend kan zijn.
Want ja, het zijn stilstaande objecten, maar ze bewegen! En die beweging is ook Wilma's innerlijke beweging. Denk ik. Door samen met Wilma te exposeren ervaar ik mijn schilderijen anders: was ik geneigd in een expositie te zoeken naar harmonie en verstilling, nu voel ik mij uitgenodigd tot het samenstellen van een spannende compositie van schilderijen en beelden, die in gesprek gaan met elkaar.Door niet alleen schilderijen aan de wand te hangen maar óók objecten in de ruimte te plaatsen gaan de schilderijen mede een rol spelen in de ruimte en wordt hun ruimtelijkheid versterkt.

dinsdag 28 september 2010

zondag 12 september 2010

Transformation: international ceramic symposium Nuemunster

We are now working for the second week in Nuemunster
her are some of my result, tommorrow I will add some of the works of the other participants.
My working theme is Pièta:
look for my plan on this project

Together with Orly Neezer we are working on a video on this proces

for more infomation on the symposium:

Ma Salama Jamil (Go With Peace Jamil) - Part 9 of 9

Das Leben der Anderen - Sieland

dinsdag 31 augustus 2010

Transformation International ceramic symposium neumunster


Leader of the symposium Danijela Pivasec-Tenner with Birgit Saupe


Orly Nezer from Israel

Birgit Saupe from Germany

Biljana Milenovic Stojanovic from Serbia

First days of the symposium:
First tryouts

adjusting plans: To my suprise besides the presentation in our studio at Neumunster there will be a real presentation in museum Schloss Gottorff. That means the work has to be transported. I had the plan to leave my work unfired. But I have to rethink this or do the proposal to make my work at this place.

After a few days work still struggling with the clay, cracks in abundance but every things falls still needs some tuning in the timing.
Also good news: My proposal to work on the spott in museum Gottorff accepted with a simple "why not I like the idea" by the director of the museum.
So this will be my working space there.


So I can concentrate on making my presentation here and preparing a lecture for next week.

Works from first weeks

dinsdag 20 juli 2010

try out transformation 2

DE mooiste klei om te gebruiken voor dit natte klei project zou zijn de pikzwarte franse gres zijn hieronder een aantal tryouts met deze klei. heeft een prachtige glans als ze net is gedraaid, heel soepel en blijft heel lang nattig en donker.

woensdag 30 juni 2010

tryout transformation

Als voorbereiding voor het symposium in september deed ik een tweedaagse tryout tijdens de kunstfietsroute te Castricum. De foto's tonen hetdraaien en de klei in natte en in droge staat.
zie ook

(foto's: Gerard de Bruin)