Thursday, 14 February 2013

Amanda Klimek

Artist Statement

The contemporary and on-going debate over climate and the environment has become a talking point for the growing political rift in the United States. We are feeling a pressure, a collective anxiety, coming to terms (or not) with our self-destruction. From house plants to hybrids, strip mining and oil spills, insecticide and granola, global warming and “green” consumption – nature has become a symbol for internal struggle.
My work reflects on this complicated relationship with the environment as a psychological manifestation, addressing themes of alienation, self-destruction and loss.
I insist on making work that cannot be produced mechanically and cannot be experienced digitally. I believe in the importance of the handmade object as a means of communication and of forming an intimate bond between the maker, the object and the viewer.

Personal Effects, 2009-2010

Personal Effects is a series of small porcelain pieces that explores habits of self-collecting. The porcelain pieces are hybrid-organic/bone forms created at an intimate, “collectable” scale.  A home, often a bedroom, accumulates bits and bobs that remind one of some experience or another. We live among these objects and they take on pieces of our identities.

Terra Forma, 2007- 2011

These works represent the mutual erosion of the human body by nature, and the landscape by human beings.

Leaf Instillation
I am working on an installation in porcelain to present at the California Conference for the Advancement of Ceramic Arts this year. The installation will be a room with hundreds of suspended porcelain "leaves" that glow and softly hum. The leaves are crafted one at a time by pushing my hand into a small amount of porcelain clay until it is less than a millimeter thin. Peeling the clay off of my hand creates the organic, curled leaf-shape, and firing it to 2,300 degrees causes them to become translucent like a piece of rice paper. Suspended from above by silk thread and incredibly thin magnet wire, spotlights will illuminate them from above and behind, allowing the leaves to glow and the skin-print to become visible. The hand-prints will all be pointed upward, as if reaching toward the light. The porcelain is highly resonant, and attached to about 200 of them will be tiny piezo transducers that will vibrate them, allowing them to hum at their own tone. Each tone will be different depending on the size and shape of each piece. The viewer will enter the darkened room to the soft chorus of the reaching, glowing hands. 
The piece is entitled Left, the past tense of leave. It addresses ideas of the struggle of ascension, not necessarily in the religious sense, but in the sense of some rising above and some being left behind. The process of making the leaves speaks to manufacture, and the human face and voice behind the mass-produced object, liking the maker with the product. The voices together make a chorus, but this chorus not necessarily harmonious- but rather a collection of individual tones melding together in our ears. The suspended leaves hang in the formation of an arch, which can also be seen as a bell-curve and the crest of a sine wave. The piece creates a contemplative space, displaying a dynamic between the different leaves, as individuals and as a group.

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