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FACTORY. Exhibited in - Further Thoughts on Earthy Materials, Kunsthaus Hamburg, 2018

BROWNSWORD, Neil (2018) FACTORY. Exhibited in - Further Thoughts on Earthy Materials, Kunsthaus Hamburg, 2018. [Artefact]

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Abstract or description

Dissemination context:
FACTORY was selected by Kunsthaus Hamburg curator Katja Schroeder for the exhibition Further Thoughts on Earthy Materials which surveyed shifts of 21st century artistic production towards ceramic materials and techniques. The exhibition brought together works of a younger generation of artists that take an unconventional approach to ceramic material and establish references to the present. The works ‘take up questions concerning the significance of seriality, authenticity, and originality as well as the archaeological, anarchic, and dystopic character of the material’.

Two components from Brownsword’s solo exhibition FACTORY at Icheon World Ceramic Centre, South Korea (22/04 - 28/05/17), were curated to explore ideas surrounding the transmission of intergenerational practices and the archaeological dimensions of ceramic culture. It comprised of deconstructed post-industrial materials salvaged from former factories presented as a formal taxonomy to re-attribute value to displaced labour in North Staffordshire. Two film loops were also installed - one of archive footage (edited in 2016) of the performance of craft knowledge embedded in various labour divisions in the ceramic industry, flanked against once prominent sites of ceramic manufacture being reclaimed by nature (2016).

Other exhibiting artists included: Suse Bauer, Katinka Bock, William Cobbing, Anna Lena Grau, Ilana Harris-Babou, Emma Hart, Judith Hopf, Emre Hüner, Lou Masduraud & Antoine Bellini, Johannes Nagel, Kate Newby, Nicolás Osorno, Pablo Schlumberger, Kerstin Stoll, Jennifer Tee, Ingo Vetter, Franziska Windolf, Jesse Wine, Xiaopeng Zhou.

Exhibition text:
‘In times when contemporary art more strongly reflects the conditions and aesthetics of virtual realities, post-human theories abound, and the digitization of the world has created a fascination with surfaces and found images, a parallel art production is emerging, one that deliberately uses haptic materials and artisan production processes.
The two-part exhibition project Further Thoughts on Earthy Materials at Kunsthaus Hamburg and GAK Gesellschaft für Aktuelle Kunst Bremen asks what the underlying questions of the shift towards techniques and the material of ceramics in the artistic production of the 21st century are. Further Thoughts on Earthy Materials brings together works of a younger generation of artists that take an unconventional approach to ceramic material and establish references to the present. Thereby, the two group exhibitions in Bremen and Hamburg are dedicated to different aspects. The chapter at GAK Bremen focusses on the presence of the body.

The Kunsthaus Hamburg chapter addresses the inherent paradox of fired clay: both its being one of the oldest cultural techniques of serial (re)production (i.e. bricks, porcelain) and its haptic qualities that highlight immediate and time-consuming sculptural creation and craftsmanship.

The exhibition at the Kunsthaus thus presents artistic approaches that employ ceramics, being a cultural technique which has been handed down from generation to generation, as a medium of engaging with contemporary technologies and issues, and question these in their current relevance: which role does the recreation, depiction, and reproduction of three-dimensional forms though fired clay play today (in the era of 3D scans and printers)? Which material, cultural, moral, or technical implications are connected with the medium? The selected works take up questions concerning the significance of seriality, authenticity, and originality as well as the archeological, anarchic, and dystopic character of the material’.

Further Thoughts on Earthy Materials curated by Janneke de Vries and Katja Schroeder was a two-part exhibition project shown at Kunsthaus Hamburg and GAK Gesellschaft für Aktuelle Kunst Bremen.
https://kunsthaushamburg.de/en/further-thoughts-on-earthy-materials/

Item Type: Artefact
Additional Information: Additional Information From exhibition catalogue: Brownsword, N., Shales, E., Strangleman, T., FACTORY, Neil Brownsword, Icheon World Ceramic Centre, 2017. p.6 FACTORY is a performative installation that reflects upon notions of place, skill, people and material objects left behind following the process of industrial change. In Stoke-on-Trent, global outsourcing together with high yield production technologies, have substituted many of the people embodied skills that once sustained company leadership. Like many hand skills in the ceramic industry, dexterity is transmitted from generation to generation. As the tertiary or service sector has largely replaced traditional manufacturing, there now exists a significant skills gap, and with few apprenticeships a danger of specialist knowledge disappearing. Following the legacy of William Morris and the Arts and Craft Movement in the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, much attention has been paid to the preservation of vernacular crafts. Since these neo-traditionalists remained diametrically opposed to industrialisation, they also marginalised the know-how of those employed in factories, albeit sometimes unintentionally. In 2003 UNESCO implemented a convention to safeguard intangible cultural heritage. 171 countries have now endorsed this convention, effectively making Intangible Heritage part of their cultural policy, but this value system remains alien to the UK. ‘Any efforts to safeguard traditional craftsmanship must focus not on preserving craft objects - no matter how beautiful, precious, rare or important they might be - but on creating conditions that will encourage artisans to continue to produce crafts of all kinds, and to transmit their skills and knowledge to others’. FACTORY re-evaluates explicit systems of know-how, specific to North Staffordshire’s ceramic industry…. To accentuate these overlooked forms of intelligence, Neil Brownsword adopts numerous strategies that disrupt prescriptive routines of skill cultivated by instruction.
Faculty: School of Creative Arts and Engineering > Humanities and Performing Arts
Event Title: Further Thoughts on Earthy Materials
Event Location: Kunsthaus Hamburg, Klosterwall 15, 20095 Hamburg, Germany
Event Dates: 11/09/2018 – 25/11/ 2018
Depositing User: Neil BROWNSWORD
Date Deposited: 04 Jun 2019 09:57
Last Modified: 04 Jun 2019 09:57
URI: http://eprints.staffs.ac.uk/id/eprint/5282

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