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National Treasure. Exhibited in - Putting it at Stake, Rörstrand Center, Lidköping, Sweden, 2017

BROWNSWORD, Neil (2017) National Treasure. Exhibited in - Putting it at Stake, Rörstrand Center, Lidköping, Sweden, 2017. [Artefact]

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Image (National Treasure (2014) looped film projection, 15mins 49 secs. Image courtesy of Love Jönsson)
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Image (National Treasure (2014) looped film projection, 15mins 49 secs. Image courtesy of Love Jönsson)
2. Putting it at Stake.jpeg - Supplemental Material
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[img]
Preview
Image (National Treasure (2014) looped film projection, 15mins 49 secs. Image courtesy of Love Jönsson)
3. Putting it at Stake.jpeg - Supplemental Material
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Abstract or description

Dissemination context:
As a part of the city's well-known porcelain festival, ‘Putting it at Stake’ curated by Love Jönsson, represents six voices in contemporary ceramics. Its theme focuses on ceramic's post-industrial condition, with works installed in ‘Siberia’, a disused industrial building on the historical Rörstrand factory site. Rörstrand started in 1726 but like so many other historical companies it only exists as a brand today, with all actual production carried out by anonymous factories abroad.

National Treasure’s film work (2014) was selected and projected in the Rörstrand factory's old storage space for raw materials such as kaolin and clays. Other exhibiting artists included: Robert Dawson (UK), Michael Strand (US), Ruta Pakarklyte (NO), Magdalena Nilsson (S) and Karin Karinson Nilsson (S). Karin Karinson (S).

Item Type: Artefact
Additional Information: National Treasure (artefact) National Treasure introduced new critical insights into aspects of skill displacement following the aftermath of decades of deindustrialisation in North Staffordshire’s ceramic sector. It examines shifts in production from the ‘shop floor’ to the factory tourism model, through an innovative combination of live performance, installation, social practice, film and artefact that ‘bring the traditions of the [ceramics] field into a new category of experience’. Brownsword’s parody of this ‘artisan on display’ format, critiques how the parade of ‘indigenous’ artisanal craft from the visitor centre experience, obscures the realities of profit first strategies of mass-automation and global outsourcing. Ex-industry China painters were employed by Brownsword to follow the genre of the romantic ruin commonly depicted in 18th century British ceramics. Painting on the backs of discarded platters found at former historic sites of production, with images that documented Stoke-on-Trent’s post-industrial fallout offered a new perspective to social realism within ceramic practice. By incorporating the dynamics of hired labour, National Treasure offered an innovative method to elevate and disseminate the endangered practices of a rapidly disappearing culture of labour. The work also explored the ethical implications of appropriating people and their skill as a raw material – a subject relatively absent in contemporary ceramic practice. Exhibition text: For centuries the transmission of dexterity in North Staffordshire’s ceramics industry has remained an intergenerational practice. However, with its recent contraction skill supply to this sector has been severely disrupted. Companies that survived global competition have profited from factory tourism where mass automation and cheap outsourcing are veiled by marketing strategies that heighten the hand crafted to strengthen sales. National Treasure parodies this model of the ‘artisan on display’, though a last generation of china painters in Stoke-on-Trent are hired to perform their threatened practices amongst the wreckage of the former Spode factory. The status given to individuals with exceptional artistic ability has long been a concern of many countries as a means to preserve cultural heritage, but this value system remains alien to Britain. National Treasure attempts to raise awareness of an intangible cultural heritage that is in dire need for greater recognition and protection.
Faculty: School of Creative Arts and Engineering > Art and Design
Event Title: Putting It at Stake
Event Location: Konst i Halland och Porslinsfestivalen i Lidköping, Rörstrands Kulturforum, Redovisningsenheten, Lidköpings kommun 531 88, Lidköping, Sweden
Event Dates: 11 - 12 August , 2017
Depositing User: Neil BROWNSWORD
Date Deposited: 05 Jun 2019 13:18
Last Modified: 05 Jun 2019 13:18
URI: http://eprints.staffs.ac.uk/id/eprint/5299

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