Argila, the process of transformation
Published on June 4, 2015
Gerard Moliné (Barcelona, 1977) isn’t a potter or a ceramic artist. He’s an industrial designer, a next-generation creator who’s interested in the materials traditionally used by artisans. For some time he’s felt particularly attracted to clay due to its capacity to be transformed and its expressiveness, and he’s fascinated by the different processes this material goes through from the time its extracted from its natural environment: the erosion and dissolution caused by the water, its malleability in the potter’s hands and how it hardens when in contact with fire.
If as a small boy Moliné enjoyed observing the metamorphosis of the soil surrounding him into useful objects, as an adult he wanted to experiment with the material himself and exploit all of its possibilities: he created a painting based on splashes of mud caused by the rain; he observed how the surface of a terracotta container took on a changing ornamentation due to the salts being released by the moisture of the water it contained; and he filmed how a clay jug melt into the river while the water became tinted with the colour of the mud. These experiments also show his interest in time-space geography. For the six months of the exhibit, certain things will occur and we will see transformations in his creations which are the product of the artist’s direct intervention in nature.
Moliné gets ideas for designing objects by observing the evolutional processes of the material and when he wants to create something new, he talks to those who know the trade. He trusts in the experience of the artisans, the true professionals, and based on the admiration he has for their work, he has reinterpreted traditional utilitarian objects giving them new story lines and rescuing them from their origin to give them new life or a different use. In order to achieve his objective of linking tradition to new creation, Moliné has collaborated with seventeen potters who practise different techniques.
CLAY documents the process of transformation of a piece of clay from a point view playful and experimental. The six-minute projection showing the evolution of the object fang on contact with water, its ambiguous utility, hardness and fragility, and its disruption and dissolution, before his return to nature.
María Antonia Casanovas
Curator. Museum of Ceramics.