History in Fragments
History in Fragments is a group exhibition featuring works of artists whose practice touches on aspects and qualities of ceramics, either as primary material, conceptual framework or context for larger installations. This exhibition highlights the diversity of approaches to making artworks in ceramics and the significance of this media as a recorder of time and witness of events.
Historically, depiction and surface treatment on ceramic vessels have been a way of recording history. Numerous examples of these works have survived from ancient Greece, Rome, Persia, China, South America, Africa and North American and Australian Indegenous cultures. Since the early days of industrialization ceramic’s surfaces have been exploited in the service of marketing a signature look, such as found in Delft porcelain in the 17th Century and British and French porcelain manufacturing from the 18th century. In the late 19th and early 20th century there have been attempts to experiment with ceramics, mostly through the modernist motto of “form follows function”. Up until the 1960’s there have been very few instances of ceramics being considered as a material for making contemporary art and there had been major challenges of the media being considered in the critical realms of visual culture. In the past two decades, however, ceramics has made its way into mainstream contemporary art by ways of making the medium break away from traditional form, function, glaze and surface decorations.
History in Fragments traces some of the strategies used in the works of artists Manal AlDowayan, Joël Andrianomearisoa, Gabriela Bettini, Julia Llerena, Timo Nasseri, Edison Peñafiel and Luis Úrculo; all of whom come from a diverse range of backgrounds, cultures, practices and diverse media they choose to work with.