Maculateness. On porcelain factories


Dom Esterki, Krakowska 46

10.03.18 - 6.05.18

It used to be called ‘white gold’. It seems, however, that today porcelain does not amaze us anymore; we have gotten used to its presence. It is more a product to us than a creation; rather autonomous matter than the result of a complicated process combining chemical substances, technology and human work. What people first lose sight of is the human contribution: porcelain forms seem too immaculate to involve humans.

This is why anthropologist Ewa Klekot and ceramist Arkadiusz Szwed decided to check how much work of human hands – their touch, wrist rotation, finger and palm movement – is contained in a tableware set. The result is an exceptional set they called The Human Trace, manufactured in Ćmielów, one of the oldest ceramic factories in Poland. On the other hand, Arkadiusz Szwed’s installation Forsaken Pieces makes use of technological industrial waste, the ‘facilitators’ of the Ćmielów production process, thereby revealing new potential for those occasional, no-name creations.

Monika Patuszynska has a different approach to porcelain. To her it is not a ‘smooth, humble, obedient’ material. She experiments with discarded molds disfigured by the passage of time, natural phenomena (e.g. dropping water), and such civilizational changes as the death of the factories.

The exhibition searches, therefore, for the presence of “maculate” humanity in immaculate forms. It poses questions about the relationship between humanity and technology, and about systems for the valuation of different types of work – whether performed by humans or executed by non-humans. At the same time, it touches upon issues of art, design and intellectual property.

Ewa Klekot, Arkadiusz Szwed / project „People from the porcelain factory”
Monika Patuszyńska / project „Bastards&Orphans”


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