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
OS: How do you produce your objects? What is the process you undertake?
M3: We carve the sculptures out of styrofoam, then we cover them with acrystal and paint them with acrylic. We then finish the surface with varnish. Most of the time we begin with a sketch, but sometimes we decide to make a model. Every step in the production process is dicussed within the group.
OS: You make objects that look like ceramic but are actually made of synthetic materials. What about the look of ceramic attracts you? Why put so much effort into making things look like ceramic but not using the material itself?
M3: We are fascinated by the affiliation of the nasty, painful, scary and the fragile look of fired clay. The choice of our materials is primarily based on practical consideration. It would just not be easy to build such big sculptures in ceramic.
OS: Why do you think that ceramic has had such a bad reputation in modern and contemporary art?
M3: We don’t know. Probably also for practical reasons: because ceramic presents some limitations on the size of the sculptures one can make. That’s why we’ve chosen the look of ceramic and not the material. At the moment it is very hip to work with ceramic in the art scene.
OS: Are you treating the material of ceramic in an ironic way through the use of synthetic materials to replicate the ceramic aesthetic? Or is your choice of synthetic materials also a practical solution due to the technical difficulties in mastering ceramic?
M3: As said before, it’s about the combination of the topic not really getting along with the material due to the material’s limitations.
OS: In general, do you think 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?
M3: Of course. We think that finding the right combination of material and topic is one of the key questions in art.
OS: Do you feel that craft (handwerk) still has a place in contemporary art? Is it essential to your practice?
M3: We think that traditional methods of producing through craft are important parts of our collective knowledge that are always worth reusing and interpreting in modern ways.