curated by Melissa Canbaz
curated by Melissa Canbaz
Seeing a stone seat by the kerb I sat down and crossed my legs, like Walther.
curated by Eva von Ingram Harpf
Exh. Opening Hours: Wednesday, 19.07 – Friday, 21.07.2017 from 3-7pm and until August 14.08.2017 open by appointment
Taking its title from Samuel Beckett’s fascination with the South Tyrolian Middle High German lyric poet Walther von der Vogelweide, Seeing a stone seat by the kerb I sat down and crossed my legs, like Walther. is the third exhibition of the Thun Ceramic Residency.
This year’s artists in residence, Lindsay Lawson (b. 1982), Jimena Mendoza (b. 1979) and Giles Round (b. 1976) will exhibit a selection of the over one hundred artworks they made during their stay in Bolzano throughout the past two months. Similar to previous iterations, the artists drew influence from their unique surroundings. Ranging from the rocky cliffs rising above the city, to excursions which led them to discover cultural peculiarities from Val Gardena to Verona, the exhibited works are a condensation of their own individual practices mixed with their experiences whilst in residence at THUN.
These year’s exhibition venues tie in closely with the history of the ceramic company: situated opposite of each other on a curvy road in Aslago/Haslach is the first ever showroom of THUN ceramics, operating from 1965-1990, as well as the St. Gertrude Chapel, a sanctuary built in 1777.
When Samuel Beckett writes the sentence Seeing a stone seat by the kerb I sat down and crossed my legs, like Walther. in his short story ‘The Calmative’, he borrows the image of the thinking poet, who famously was depicted in just such a pose whilst contemplating about the fundamental questions of human consciousness.
Language can often prove powerful, yet needing definition it mints an image. It is exactly these images that the three artists provide to this year’s audience.
1000 Things Happening at The Same Time
curated by Samuel Leuenberger
21.10 – 25.11.2016
Than Hussein Clark
This year’s residents of the Thun Ceramic Residency were Than Hussein Clark, Rochelle Gold- berg, and John Henshaw. All three artists made new works during their time here in Bolzano.
In the over three storeys tall hallway of the Museion’s Atelierhaus, Than Hussein Clark is presenting a group of plaster columns reaching for the ceiling; with branch-like structures affixed to them and 150 balloons floating above them. The installation yearns for the sky. The balloons are imprinted with single letters that, when aligned, read: “It’s amazing, this is the first time… the first time! I’m in love for the first time! So this is it, this terrible feeling“ – a quote from Turgenev’s infamous 19th century play A Month in the Countryside. A ceramic chaise-long also rests in the room, together with a group of wall mounted tiles and other objects that allude to Thomas Mann’s protagonist in Death in Venice. The tale’s account of a man losing his moral standards, of becoming a slave to beauty, a slave to desire – of a man who ultimately finds him- self debased.
During her stay at the Thun Ceramic Ateliers, Rochelle Goldberg made eleven masks and counting. A recurrent subject in her work, these metallic glazed ceramics are frequently shown in conjunction with other structures and materials such as steel or chia seeds, creating their own ecosystem of signifiers around ecological, industrial but equally psychological concerns. Every mask, based on the same initial mould is hand-filled with clay, covered with impressions of synthetic snakeskin and fingerprints before being glazed. In Bolzano, Goldberg experimented with an array of new glazes that had a variety of refractive attributes and, which through their “alterations through repetition“, have gained an uncanny quality. A short walk away from the Atelierhaus, in an imposing building of Italian fascist architecture, the artist has installed five of her masks: mounted against the backside of bookshelves, they stand only a couple feet away from the window, facing the street. The chain-like metal shutters remain suspended and one is only allowed to peak through its geometrically arranged grid to look at the masks, all hung at eye level, all engaging with our gaze, spreading from one window front over to the next.
John Henshaw created a series of works that are directly influenced by his time spent in Bolzano. By way of his daily commute through town, he noticed a series of unfamiliar and weirdly futuristic structures where the city’s facades are painted in pastel colours and its surroundings speak of a Northern European city with industrious pride in craftsmanship. The combination of these observations resulted in a series of fictitious architectural bodies, which „dance and sway in heat“; with organic, cartoon-like forms, they appear slightly out of shape – they breathe and bend under the experimental gust of his hands. To display his works, a twenty meter long tiled bench serves as a plinth, running inside the corridor of Bolzano’s nearby University, along with its more than fifty meter wide window front. The series of miniature buildings, utopian shapes that serve as projectiles for ideas symbolically align with the University’s mission statement to inspire their students to build a new future.
Together, Clark, Goldberg and Henshaw work with the (architectural) body in their own particular ways and in very different scales. They relate a human experience to a larger interior, whether decorative or emotional; to sprawls of possible ways of living; to a more self-reflective notion of how the body is always linked to the structure it occupies; to ways of ascribing recognition to identification itself. A thousand things happening at the same time reel together the abundance of inspiration and processes these works underwent – from conception to production and to their presentation in Bolzano. Through their own methodologies, these three fundamentally different practises illustrate how experimental and different each oeuvre is, linked by the same clay, fired by the same ovens, and made during their shared time at the Thun Ceramic Residency.
Dear Material Things
curated by Claire Shea
Curated by Claire Shea, Director of the Cass Sculpture Foundation in West Sussex, UK, the exhibition will take place in the old apartment of Contessa Lene Thun, the mind and heart behind the first THUN ceramics. Left untouched since her passing in 2004, the apartment is home to some of the earliest ceramics Lene worked on as well as the last prototypes she experimented with, that still sit on her desk in the position in which she left them.
The exhibition takes its title from an essay entitled ‘The Redemption of Objects’ by Italian writer, Italo Calvino. In it, Calvino looks closely at the life and work of Mario Praz, an Italian critic of art and literature and scholar of English Literature. Praz considered himself a materialist and defended the importance of the sensual presence that ‘things’ held for him. In an argument cited by Calvino, Praz wrote, ‘Because such is the nature of these dear material things amidst which we live our lives that you can’t deny one of them without denying all of them at the same time.’ This resonates through the exhibition as it looks at the dialogue created between the personal objects in Lene Thun’s home and the new works produced in residence this summer by Cassie Griffin, Matthew Lutz-Kinoy and Jesse Wine.