In conjunction with the exhibition Fire it Up: Ceramic as Material in Contemporary Sculpture, the participating artists were asked a few questions about this specific material and their approach to artistic production.
Fire It Up takes place at Dienstgebäude, Töpferstr. 24, Zurich, May 30-June 30, 2013. Vernissage, May 30, 7-10pm
QandA with Guillaume Pilet
OS: Do you see yourself as a sculptor/artist or ceramicist/potter? What do you think are the differences between these terms?
GP: I like to link my practice both to handicraft and sculpture.
OS: How do you produce your objects? What is the process you undertake?
GP: There are really a lot of different processes. Usually there is a dadaist touch somewhere.
OS: Why do you think that ceramic has had such a bad reputation in modern and contemporary art?
GP: It was really popular at the Bauhaus, for example, but in the field of what would then have been product design. I guess there is something regressive —or childish— in working the raw clay that could disturb the adepts of psychoanalysis … But today ceramic is also something violently seductive and decorative.
OS: How have you come to this material in your practice and what attracts you to it? Why do you work with it?
GP: My mom brought me to a ceramic studio while I was studying at ECAL. I started to work while I was surrounded by very sympathethic middle-aged housewives then I changed my schedule to attend the children lessons – the very hotspot of my academic background.
OS: Do you feel that your use of the material is essential to understanding your work, or in your case it’s incidental, more of a practical solution?
GP: I really love to work with ceramic.
OS: In general, do the technical demands of ceramic take away from the artist’s focus on a conceptual approach to the work? Or do you see the technical and the conceptual expressed equally through the form?
GP: I am not really into technique. I like to work with people who like technique. I have a very fast, primitive way of working with ceramic.
OS: Have you encountered challenges in exhibiting your ceramic work in the contemporary art context? If so, why do you think that is? If not, what has contributed to this inclusion?
GP: Some people sometimes encountered challenges in seeing my ceramics in the contemporary art context.
Editing, proofreading and translation done by Olga Stefan Consulting