Ausstellungsmotiv "table talks – Tischgespräche"

table talks

Design-Studierende aus Berlin und Kopenhagen bitten zu Tisch

For one semester, design students from the weißensee academy of art berlin and the Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts (KADK) in Copenhagen were invited by the Kunstgewerbemuseum (Museum of Decorative Arts) Dresden Schloss Pillnitz to explore how porcelain, ceramic and glass objects may initiate, encourage and influence conversations at the table.

  • DATES 27/04/2019—03/11/2019

[Translate to English:] table talks

In the Baroque era, festive dinner tables were decorated with particular centrepieces, so-called “conversation pieces”. Such a “conversation piece” was by no means purely decorative. According to the definition of the Cambridge English Dictionary it was “an unusual object that causes people to start talking”. What qualities must objects have to get people to start talking at the table?

A meal is not only about the intake of food. Rather, it is associated with a complex network of perceptions of the senses, with social interactions, and not least with communication. When we eat together, we get to know each other, establish social relationships and orders and negotiate everyday issues and big topics. The table is a place where cultures with their different customs, rituals and taboos can meet and interact. What could be the qualities of an object that is part of such a meal but is also more than just a vessel to contain food?

The results of the project, ranging from functional objects over experiments with the materials to installations, are now displayed as part of a spatial installation in two historic rooms at the Kunstgewerbemuseum in Schloss Pillnitz. They are showcased in a way that enables them to communicate, both with each other and with the space, creating a dynamic dialogue. Last but not least, they invite the visitors to join the conversation.

Ausstellungsmotiv "table talks – Tischgespräche"

Elis Ottosson: Nätblåst

Coming from a textile background, my first impulse was to work with a soft mould for the glassblowing. Basalt is a volcanic rock and is often used in construction and for cobblestone. It can also be melted down and turned into a heat-resistant fibre with similar properties to glass fibre, which suggests a combination with glass. The project taps into the alchemistic curiosity of the Baroque era,trying to fuse materials not commonly being used together. Another Baroque theme is the intent to bring order to nature, to control it. The nets I created set limits to the glass, but also allow nature to take its course, ultimately resulting in an intriguing amalgam of natural and technical elements and in voluptuous"Baroque" shapes.

Elena Eulitz: Jelly Effect

In the Baroque period, rulers dined in great opulence before the eyes of the people. This defined hierarchie sand created an aura of the unattainable. Mealtime as a spectacle. In the1960s, this display experienced a peculiar renaissance - with objects made of fruit and meat, edible chessgames and multi-tiered pasties. This time however, it was not the upperclass but the people themselves that could afford such "luxury" - the petty-bourgeoisie that flourished in the post-war era, settling into the perfect domestic bliss.

[Translate to English:] Bis heute geblieben

To this day, one thing that has survived is jelly dessert or jello. With its colourful appearance and cheap ingredients, it became a symbol of its time. Its jiggle effect is taken uphere in "luxurious" glass and ceramic objects, the surface texture of which is reminiscent of grapes and creates an artificial abundance, fluctuating

Esben Kaldahl: Candelabra

This object exhibits the qualities of porcelain that were so highly valued in the Baroque era: whiteness and translucency. Augustus the Strong sought out to identify the components of the “white gold” through the art of alchemy. This work applies the approach of the alchemist, playing with the original porcelain formula in order to create a new material. The result combines qualities from both clay and glaze: it can be shaped and decorated, but when fired, the material collapses. Its ornamentation is distorted during the firing process and becomes an expression shaped by the material itself.

Dan Saroussi: Hybrid

Vases were important pieces of art in the Baroque period, often prominently displayed to represent wealth and to inspire conversations about their contents and origins. The vase series Hybrid attempts to translate this function into a contemporary context.

[Translate to English:] Die Vasen zeigen

The vases present a radical combination of old and new, merging traditional styles and techniques with modern and even digital technologies. Whereas the basic shape is leaning towards classic examples, they fall apart in terms of their surface, some of them with a traditional lower part in contrast to a textile-like 3D-structure in the upper part, others applying 3D-technology over the whole body. They are unsettling hybrids, shifting perspectives, raising questions about the future of craftsmanship and updating aesthetics in the digital age.

Jeppe Søndergaard: Layers & Growths

Creating texture in porcelain seeks to awake a curiosity towards the once exotic material and its use. Porcelain has lost its exclusivity in present time. On the contrary, time has become a luxury these days, though it was an implicit necessity for the Baroque craftsmen.The technique used in these objects is time-consuming.

[Translate to English:] Sie werden aufgebaut

They are built up by countless brushstrokes of liquid porcelain – growing with each layer – which creates an organic ornamentation that adds movement and depth, inherently determined by the material. This provides precious tactility to the perception of the otherwise smooth porcelain and creates mesmerizing structures to discover at a closer look.

Katarina Egsgaard: Ornament ist und erzählt von Zeit

... and it is back in fashion: on textiles and wallpaper, buildings and muffins. Following the wave of modernism,decoration had been rejected and recovered. In the Baroque era, it seems as if it was not even in question:

[Translate to English:] Engel und Ananas

angels and pineapples, devils and dolphins were indispensable in all sorts of visual expressions – serving the role of appetiser in a broader sense, teasing eyes and palates, arousing fantasies of exotic cultures and creatures– shamelessly outshining the meal itself. Tureen with Tray inspired by the enchantment of the closed forms of the Baroque - containing secret desires.

Elif Çak Köm: Mono

The experience of food does not rely only on olfactory signals or on the receptors on the tongue;different properties of food affect the sensory perception as a whole, visual appearance being one of them.

[Translate to English:] Elif Çak Köm: Mono

In accordance with the “Bouba Effect” for instance, foods are perceived as sweeter when served on round plates. Mono is a set of bowls that intensify the food experience by their shapes. The bowls celebrate the exaggeration of the Baroque culture. Mono supports a multi-sensorial experience in an (in)visible manner, making sensations trigger one another. As an enhancing element, shiny glaze is applied to highlight the bowls’ curves. The Mono bowls are created to offer limitless possibilities of serving food in correspondence with forms, while on the other hand, they also function as a canvas for the cook.

Aviaja Troelsen: Contestant

The point of departure was a state of emptiness and quest I found myself in, after several days of porcelain sightseeing in Dresden in 2018. The density and sheer number of ornamented items in the field of porcelain put me in a state of turmoil questioning the values of content back then and today.

[Translate to English:] Unter dem Meta-Thema

On top of the meta-subject of greed, I investigate the materiality of porcelain by achieving some form of ornamentation as a side effect of writing in clay. The poem draws a sensuous atmosphere and images of a sumptuous Baroque banquet, by which I seek to address contestants and spectators of the scene.

Hao Du: Bissen und Schluck (Bite and Sip)

How many bites do you take with one meal? I have been intrigued by the role of focus in the experience of eating for a long time. Certain Asian dishes come to mind, which arrive at the table in small bite-sized portions. They encourage the eater to pay attention to the individual parts and the details, in contrast to the large portions and “irregular pearls“ at the hierarchical Baroque table or the Western dinner table.

[Translate to English:] In diesem Esstisch-Theater

In this “dining table theatre“, there is no hierarchy, but there is identity. The actors are small vessels with geometric shapes that are combined in different proportions. No combination is like the other, and some are rather out of the ordinary. Together, they visualise a person’s meal, divided into small and large bites and sips,each of them receiving full attention.

Sophie Olivia Taleja Schmidt: Gaze Train

Gaze Train is a series of colourful overlay wine glasses that stand for more open-mindedness between cultures. The train motif creates immediate associations with the experience of travelling. The windows, which are unusual fora drinking glass, guide the observer’s gaze to the inside of the glass from which, in turn, one could imagine to also look out again. This evokes certain images, as if one were to look out of the train window at foreign landscapes and new cultural environments.

[Translate to English:] Gleichzeitig

At the same time, the glasses embody the multi-faceted movements of travel and migration that shape our global community. A diverse and colourful group of travellers that step out into the world and call for a new way of living together between people of different cultures.

Thalea Schmalenberg: Hidden Glories

In the Baroque period, one way to demonstrate social power was by ornate crockery and glassware that contrasted with the plain clay pots used by the ordinary folk. Today, on the other hand, luxury is reflected more in a deliberate simplicity, in clean lines and quality craftsmanship. The associations have been reversed. The two-part drinking vessels of the Hidden Glories series portray this reversal in the contrasting use of the socially connoted materials. While, with their complex, digitally reproducible ornamentation, the feet made of clay appear to be of a high quality, the glass parts resting on them lack any decoration. Instead, they exhibit the subtle irregularities of individual pieces made using an old technique (glassblowing in clay moulds). The separation of the spheres is not abolished, but rather recoded.

Cindy Valdez: Tüffel (potato [regional German dialect])

The potato has a long history of migration. A tuber in a variety of shapes and colours, it has its origins in the Peruvian and Bolivian Andes. It was not until the 18th century that it became more popular in Germany. Frederick the Great even forced his people to grow potatoes because of their high nutritional value.

[Translate to English:] Später

Later, the exotic food, first rejected by the people, became an integral part of the German cuisine. This work highlights the forgotten historical, cultural and natural diversity of the potato. Using hand-sculpted clay and digital 3D printing,various shapes and colours of potatoes are being re-created recalling their global rural origins.

Ella Einhel: zuMessen (to eat/ to measure)

Storage containers used to be simple containers made of iron or ceramics,handled without much care and eventually thrown away. In the vessels that survived, we appreciate the quality of their purist design and their immediate, handcrafted physical properties. If translated into the contemporary counterpart – cheap plastic supermarket packaging – we could imagine another way for this disposable material to live on as well. In the project “zuMessen”, both of these materials are combined giving rise to a new old form.

[Translate to English:] Entstanden

The result is a functionally well-thought-out product, in which the ceramic part was designed to be a container and the recycled plastic lid serves as a measuring unit. An object, which blends the luxurious and inexpensive,history and present, aesthetics and everyday life.

Christin Amann: Ordre Coulant

The Baroque dinner table required a careful, thorough and thoughtful preparation whereby an unassuming trick played an important role.In order to ensure the exact alignment of all elements that were to be arranged according to a defined plan, the tablecloth was given a small crease beforehand. After the table was laid, the crease was no longer visible, but remained crucial for the composition of the table. In Ordre Coulant, this auxiliary structure, which may also stand for the invisible presence of the servants,comes to the fore and becomes a visible actor. The crease now appears as a free, flowing shape, and the other elements are adapting to its presence. A new game is born, rules and hierarchies are reversed and the objects enter new relationships.

Nicholas Plunkett: Inner Beauty

The glassware must be noticed. It irritates.These towering objects form a hierarchy and influence the presentation of food and our way of consuming it. Moreover, their special material properties alone create a more conscious perception, because there fractive properties of the glass lead to optical distortions, fragmentations and create a rhythm of the dishes they cover. Porcelain bowls in various heights continue the structuring role of the glassware. On their own, the individual pieces neither have a specific function no rare they assigned to a specific dish.The users themselves decide on their order and their use.

Angeliki Koutsodimitropoulou: Mental Matter

Mental Matter is a set of objects intended to encourage people around a table to explore the visual and tactile aspects of a conversation, or to reach a certain level of abstraction. Each item also serves a specific function related to dining or drinking. Each composition of items leaves room for interpretation that may not be as easily described in words.

[Translate to English:] „Aber wie beginnen

“But how do we begin to generate, from matter, the pictures in our brain?” – António Damásio describing a space that we visited. Actions performed in such a space. An accident with our bike. An abstract concept. Or the way a process is running.

Rasmus Degn: Melting Pearls

In the Baroque period and through out today, the pearl has always been perceived as something exclusive and valuable. Similarly, porcelain was also at first considered a very valuable material, but has gradually become more common.

[Translate to English:] Dieses Projekt

This project explores the relationship between the pearl and porcelain,both in terms of materiality and form, and is intended to reflect this as an abstract story. The pearl-like elements are developed from an extracted ingredient of the porcelain itself, and then attached to the rough porcelain body. Their shapes are round at first, but will then deform as a result of gravity during the firing process.

Tom Wagner: Alia

The heavy, rounded body gingerly rises from the ground and glides along in a fluid motion. A foreign being. A cautious brushing of the surface with the fingertips. The fingers follow the organic contours, which then, gently, are fully enclosed by the hands. A slight tension builds up and slowly becomes stronger. The shape dissolves from the ground as if in slow motion, slides into the palms of the hands, and reveals a hollow shape.Alia presents itself as a distortion of a tea set that initially hides its function and makes us perceive familiar objects and functions in a new way.

Andrea Bensi: Origem

“Scotch. Straight up”. The bartender sets the nosing glass in front of me.Amber distillate. A swirling, a tickling in the nose, the first sip – a burst of flavours. Rough around edges. A smile. A nod. He understands. Gently, he pours the whiskey into the mixing glass and takes the dash bottle. Adding the other ingredients is like a dance.

[Translate to English:] Mit Eis

The drink is stirred with ice before being poured into the tumbler. A smile. A nod. I understand. A swirling, a tickling in the nose, the first sip – a burst of flavours. The edges are smoothed. Round and edgy, just like the vessel in which it was served. The shapes of the bar set, as well as the word “Baroque” itself, derive from irregular shaped pearls, called “barocco” in Portuguese.

Nadine Trushina: Déchu

The Porzellansammlung Dresden impressively mirrors the role of orangeries for royal life in the times of Augustus II the Strong. Oranges were precious and exclusive, collectibles rather than consumer goods, and largely depicted in equally precious paintings and porcelain objects. Nowadays, both oranges and porcelain are mass products of our everyday life. The oranges from the orangeries were naturally very small, unaffected by industrial production methods, and the slip casted porcelain oranges after the firing came out even smaller.

For my cups

For my cups I slip casted today’s genetically modified fruits, which stay fresh for longer and appear unnaturally large, and reproduced them in a very detailed way. Like in Baroque they transform a natural into an aesthetic experience,yet conceiving nature as well as human artefacts in a radically different context.

Maja Rose Valbjørn: Potated

Emperors around Europe used the purple flowers of the potato plant to decorate their outfits and hair. In this work, the ordinary humble potato,transformed into a hollow porcelain shell, is used to draw parallels between the self-promotion of the rich and powerful both in the Baroque and the contemporary era. The potato without any substance,or now replaced with “hot air”, is a metaphor for demonstrating power through expensive, exotic and precious things.

[Translate to English:] Durch die Inszenierung

By staging an everyday object as an abstraction of “inflating” one’s ego, ridiculed through its deflated state, the significance and status of material wealth to define social distinctions is called into question.

Vera Stassen: Light Wave

A room. Light. Water. And people,amid moving colourful light reflections that overlay the floor and the people’s bodies. In the days of the Baroque period, rooms created experiential spaces. Similarly, this installation seeks to create a space that heightens physical, emotional and aesthetic perceptions. It is formed by water-filled glass objects on the ceiling and light reflections on the floor. The glass objects lend the water shape and position, while its movements keep breaking up the clean design and transmit themselves into the space via the light. The installation is dedicated to the essential element of water, which is elevated above our heads. Its ever-changing shapes evoke familiar memories that at the same time, through the immersive colours and movements, become enveloped in a surreal atmosphere.

[Translate to English:] weitere

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