| ARLENE SHECHET |
BREAKING THE MOLD 2012 solo exhibition at NATURE MORTE, BERLIN
|As part of the Meissen Art Campus, a residency program run by the Meissen porcelain manufacturer, Shechet produced a series of new works exploring the forms, production methods and traditions of the 300 year old manufacturer.
Over the course of 6 months in Meissen the artist accessed all areas of the porcelain factory, learning the techniques, working with original molds and learning about internal politics and traditions. The work she produced during this time celebrates and subverts the language and craftsmanship of the most famous porcelain manufacturer in the world.
Infiltrating every corner of the factory, Shechet was particularly fascinated by the overlooked and disregarded materials and objects she found. She produced a series of works which she refers to as the “molds of molds”. Having discovered the original, often 300 year old Meissen molds she made casts to reproduce them in porcelain, then glazed and hand-painted them, thereby transforming these devices (that usually remain hidden) into objects of desire. Another series of sculptures explore the traditions of the figurine, which is historically the only in-house product termed art by Meissen. Shechet combined sections of classical figurines with elements of tableware, creating intentionally awkward and precariously elegant constellations, which adhere to a discourse of functionality and aesthetics. In a similar manner she played with the finish of her sculptures, leaving much of the porcelain in its raw, unglazed state after firing, at other times hand-painting and gilding parts which normally would be purely functional. Continuing her interest in playing with forms of presentation and incorporating items relating to the production of her works into their display, the artist employs furniture and packing elements found at the Meissen factory as the foundation for the gallery's installation.