THERE ARE NO ORDINARY THINGS IN THIS WORLD
Happening / Ustka
Ceramics is the area of aesthetic activity, which often refers to the proto-form – a vessel. And usually it is associated just in this way. But as far as we can say that ceramics comes from the vessel, it does not end there. It is primarily a work with the material. Apart from aesthetic aspects, whether a product is a decorative or an exploration of a problem of technological nature, taking a job with clay or porcelain, each creator faces the challenge of cooperation. The challenge is very difficult since the material gives us very delicate hints of how it should proceed. In practice, the indication is a visual error seen usually after a time – a crack, a deformation, the unpredictability of colours. This raises the question whether the ceramics should be treated in the same manner in the context of artistic activity and industrial production, and whether mistakes and whims of matter are actually imperfections when functionality is not the problem. When we forget that the porcelain serves as tableware, we can think of it as of a combination of kaolin, feldspar and quartz, turning our attention to nature, the Earth, from where they come.
The project THERE ARE NO ORDINARY THINGS IN THIS WORLD focuses on the environment. We can say that it is a version of the environment processed in a painterly manner, in which the author gives what he took in a modified form, whose task is to carry thoughts. They are not, however, exhibited in galleries, but in places where art is rarely available, flourishing as the entertainment: dancing Indians, candy-floss, statues of dolphins and shells from the Pacific at trade stands on the Polish Baltic coast. All of them are very tangible, yet unreal. The idea behind the project was to make around 500 shells of porcelain with casting method enriched with text applied using a ceramic decal, basing on previously developed models. The project was finalized in a happening, consisting of throwing thus made shells on the beach in Ustka. In this way it interfered in this part of the earth, which with the first sunbeams becomes a highly frequented public area, where walkers come to seek stranded shells or amber. The action was the result of a six-month observation of the variability of coastal resorts which are the sites that fall asleep with the advent of autumn and come to life with spring, attracting thousands of tourists. This raises the question of what is true, since the term of place contains also its residents; how their everyday life would look like, if seasonality was excluded? In this context, reflections on the art form, the origin of porcelain and the nature of coastal baths bring to mind Peter Unger’s theory that nothing exists as an alternative.
Therefore THERE ARE NO ORDINARY THINGS IN THIS WORLD is a game that gives the public an opportunity to reflect on senses carried by the found porcelain shells. The author does not ask; questions, however, can arise in the public’s mind. “There are no common things in this world”, “art is”, “an artefact”, all this can both doubt in existence and an observation of the problem of what surrounds and touches us (“everyone has got what he/she chose once”). The main objective of the project was to pass the message to a large number of people, drawing their attention to the fact that art is a part of our life even when we do not think about it. It is a stimulant, since if it really is, we can experience it.
Michał Żesławski – a graduate from the Academy of Fine Arts in Wrocław, the faculty of ceramics and glass art (2012). Diploma in the field of glass art and utility realized at Prof. Małgorzata Dajewska studio, enriched by an annex of graphic art, serigraphy workshop of Prof. Krzysztof Nowicki. In 2010-2011, as part of the foreign scholarship, he studied at the Bezalel Academy of Arts and Design in Jerusalem at the department of ceramics and glass, and the Adina Bar-On performance laboratory. He paints, makes collages, glass art and ceramics, being inspired mainly with observed reality, the emotional sphere of man, and his openness to other people. At the same time he seeks for some customized solutions and means of expression in working with the material.