What looks like the best conference of the year for those interested in ceramics will take place late October in Bergen National Academy of the Arts, Norway. There they have a wonderful course in Craft Theory and Practice run by Dr Jorunnn Veiteberg. She has put together this conference and has some of the most engaging speakers from all over the world lined up, each followed by some of the most interesting artists practicing today.
Scandinavia has extensive programmes in craft practices – theoretical and practical – in a number of centres in Norway, Sweden and Denmark particularly and as a whole is certainly part of the cutting edge in the world of craft practice today. As wealthy countries (on the whole) with small populations they still offer free or cheaper education at all levels, even to foreign nationals, and place much emphasis on culture so arts and crafts are fostered and financed well. The result has been a great flowering of across-the-board art practices which includes work going on in craft media, particularly ceramics. Bergen has been one of the most important centres for this and they do a great conference usually!
This one is around oppositions between studio and industrial ceramics and whether such a stance still has meaning today? A shift from production to reproduction has taken place with images and patterns from various sources appropriated and digitally manipulated. Mass-produced objects are increasingly used as raw materials changing the relationship between artist and artisan.
The conference focusses on the way these changes influence contemporary making and how they contribute to the unmaking of conventional understanding of craft, and ceramics in particular, today.
If you can get there….GO!
Making or Unmaking?
The Contexts of Contemporary Ceramics
Thursday Oct 27 10.00-18.00
Workshop 1: History Lessons
Glenn Adamson (USA/UK): Ten easy pieces: Postmodernism and the found object
Carol McNicoll (UK): Domestic collage
Richard Slee (UK): The way he is sourcing things
Ezra Shales (USA): The museum as medium-specific muse
Clare Twomey: Manufactured not made
Caroline Slotte (FI): Long exposure
Paul Scott (UK): Willows, windmills and wild roses. Recycling and remediation
Tanya Harrod (UK): Memory work: Craft and art in post-industrial Europe
Exhibitions: Thing Tang Trash. Upcycling in Contemporary Ceramics, Art Museums Bergen/Permanenten (19-21)
Friday Oct 28 9-17
Workshop 2: Object Lessons
Ben Highmore (UK): The poetics of made things
Hans Stofer (CH/UK): ’Biting into a cherry does not prepare you for the stone’
Mònica Gaspar (ES/CH): Craft in its gaseous state: An exhibition report
Andrew Livingstone: The ceramic regurgitant: sustainability and the readymade
Barnaby Barford (UK): Appropriation, narrative and humour
Gitte Jungersen (DK): Place to be lost, materiality and meaning in my work
Jorunn Veiteberg (NO): The Duchamp effect in ceramics
Exhibition openings: Kjell Rylander Rom 8; B.T.2011, Galleri Format (curator: Heidi Bjørgan); Textiles and Photography, Hordaland Art Center (curator: Glenn Adamson); Young and Loving, Gallery S12.
Saturday Oct 29
Workshop 3: Institutional Lessons
Michael Petry (UK): The art of not making: The new artist/artisan relationship
Marek Cecula (PL): Industrial interventions
Anne Britt Ylvisåker (NO): The museum: New potentials
Linda Sormin (CA/USA): Chinese Take-out
Kevin Murrey (AU): The new do-it-themselves ceramics: throwing out the baby with the mud?
Mike Press (UK): Handmade knowledge. The new challenge for craft.
Søren Kjørup (DK): A philosophical perspective: A new history, a new order.
19.00 Dinner, Grand selskapslokaler.