With: John Armleder, Morgane Tschiember
When the bill came after a meeting between Morgane Tschiember and John M Armleder in a tearoom, it was adorned with tiny stars. Those stars have now reappeared in the white cube of the gallery, which has been transformed with glittery pink wallpaper (neither artist is worried about art playing a decorative role). The bubble-gum-pink wallpaper is adorned with a constellation of silver patterns, each one a sort of target – although it’s not easy to hit the bull’s-eye – and a cross resulting from the enlargement, deformation and pixelation of the stars on the bill. Wallpaper is sometimes the backdrop only for itself, but that is not the case here. In the gallery, it provides the setting for ceramics placed on a podium shaped like the steps of a pool, with the pink walls in the background. The painting here is not on the walls but on these “Species,” on which the drips are not intended to express inner depths but just to adorn the vases, different ones for each artist. They are presented in pairs and were produced in pairs using the mold stamping technique. The molds were also fired in pairs, and the ties that bound the two pieces disintegrated in the heat, leaving behind strange traces. Something happened in the kiln causing the two objects to come out in different states: one is impeccably fired, while the other is partially broken. What conflict are these disparate pairs an allegory for? It’s up to you to find an answer. Here we are confronted with painted ceramics and painted paper, high-level craftsmanship and the science of display. Do the “Species” complement the wallpaper, or does the wallpaper complement the “Species”? Anything is possible when John meets Morgane.
The ceramics in the show “JOHN M ARMLEDER/MORGANE TSCHIEMBER” were made at Cercco, the Experimentation and Research Centre for Contemporary Ceramics of the Geneva University of Art and Design (HEAD) from a selection of molds, dating from the 19th century to the present, belonging to the NUOVE//Residency collection.
NUOVE//Residency is a residency program for artists interested in learning about, experimenting with and producing ceramic works. In 2013, during her residency there, Morgane Tschiember created “Shibaris,” her first series of ceramic works, representative of her artistic practice and her experimentation with materials. The “enameling” session for the works produced for this exhibition is based on John M Armleder’s experiments with color, as was his iconic series of “Pour” paintings, inspired, most notably, by the work of Larry Poons.