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Magdalena Gerber

Artist's Work

Broken Heritage

    Work introduction

    A solid block of dry porcelain, found in the cellars of the partly abandoned Langenthal Porcelain
    Factory, is fired and glazed. In the process of transformation from clay to porcelain, this material
    undergoes great tensions and starts to crack without breaking.
    The installation at eye level and in precarious equilibrium of this 6kg cylinder, invites a face to face
    between the piece and the receiver.
    Shaped with an industrial extruder, it is marked with the handprints of the worker who stacked it in
    order to be transformed into crockery.
    After production was stopped, the block was left in the cellar and dried completely. Now,
    transformed into ceramic, it can never again become anything other than this mono-block or be
    crushed into sand, so the production line is definitively broken.

    Artist Biography

    Magdalena Gerber is an artist and Professor at the Geneva University of Art and Design,
    HEAD — Genève, where she is leading the CERCCO, Center of contemporary ceramics. She
    holds a BA Ceramic, Geneva University of Art and Design and a MA Art | Design and
    Innovation, University of Art and Design Basel. In 2013 she had the lead of the Research
    project GraphicCeram.
    Her artistic research moves in a force-field between art and design. Through objects and
    installations, she examines the tradition of the applied arts (the arts of the ‘in-betweenness’
    per excellence) in order to establish a dialogue across disciplines, short-circuiting the
    ordinary into the extra-ordinary. The recent works interests span the deindustrialization of
    Swiss ceramic industry and the disappearing of knowledge and cultural heritage.