Lumen Travo Gallery
1017 WZ Amsterdam
+31 (0)20 6270883
Wed - Sat / 13-18 hrs
Exhibition 25 Mar — 22 Apr
Opening 25 Mar, 17-19 hrs
Artists: Ni Haifeng, Katrin Korfmann/Jens Pfeifer, Milena Naef, Berend Strik
The romantic notion of the lonely artist struggling with his materials has become obsolete since, all around the world, artworks are created in dusty factories by the same hands that produce consumer items and decorative frivolities. In those very factories Katrin Korfmann and Jens Pfeifer found inspiration for their on-going series Back Stages. The images depict realities which neither the eye nor the artists’ camera, could have grasped. By simultaneously zooming in and zooming out on the floors of various workshops, Korfmann and Pfeifer have meticulously constructed new realities that represent the mysterious worlds of cultural production. Each phase of the execution process counts, and all flawless details, all particles, demand attention and have thus become equally important. This is the world in which the materials don’t know yet about the hierarchal distinction between art and applied art.
Korfmann and Pfeifer invited Berend Strik, Milena Naef and Ni Haifeng to present their works alongside their own images. In their own particular ways these artists also shed light on the artistic making process and the meaningfullness of materials.
Is there a difference between the materialization of a conceptual art piece, the casting process of a bronze sculpture, the creation of wooden chairs, the precise hammering of gold leaves on a Buddha statue, the finishing of a decorative vase? Eventually the objects will enter different worlds and will be confronted with different audiences and their expectations. But in the process of making, materials don’t adhere to prestige or hierarchy. Nor is such a hierarchy of any interest to the ones who devote their skills and expertise to the execution of the works. If the materials and the processes have so much in common, where are the differences hiding?
In the course of the 20th century many artists started to question the traditional distinction between high and low, the divide between art, design and craft. As a consequence the palette of media for art widened. Traditional materials and techniques that hitherto belonged to the domains of craftsmanship and housework, such as ceramics and embroidery, as well as the allusions to the distinctive craft traditions, have entered the domain of art.
Porcelain, for instance, plays a humble subservient role when used to provide a urinal with a sturdy body and a hard smooth surface to ensure hygiene. When used for tableware the filmy porcelain no longer represents hygiene, let alone sturdiness, but appeals most of all to preciousness. In an artwork the very same material adds a multitude of references to the object’s artistic meaning, such as the references of hygiene, fragility and preciousness.
Imbued within the same material - the same elaborate and attentive making process - a multitude of meanings are residing.
Credit Text: Louise Schouwenberg
Credit photo:Lisa-Marie Vlietstra
Wed - Sat / 13-18 hrs
Date 20 Jan - 17 Feb
Thu - Sat / 13-17 hrs
Date 26 Jan
Time 17 hrs
Mon - Sat / 10-18 hrs
Sun 13-17.30 hrs
Date 16 Feb
Huis Marseille, Museum for Photography
Tue - Sun / 11-18 hrs
Date 9 Dec - 4 Mar