My project, of a theoretical-practical character, seeks, through the connection between archaeological research and artistic work, to create sculptures that approximate pre-historic ceramic forms, distinguished by the alteration of scale, manipulation of decorative schemes and depuration from functionality. The study of archaeological ceramics interests me, as, through it, it is possible to gather a collection of technological, morphological, decorative and symbolic aspects, which may be interestingly applied to the field of contemporary sculpture.
From another perspective, I am also interested in mythic thought about the meaning associated to the production and utilization of ceramic objects. The anthropological sources relative to the manufacturing of manual ceramics indicate that this art, less simple than it looks, is a practice surrounded by customs and taboos. The clay is associated to magical and religious representations and there is a primitive ‘philosophy’ that is the basis of its creation, it is the object of numerous ritual practices, precautions and superstitions. The potters – who use the power of fire to impose a particular form to some amorphous material, transforming it, disciplining it – are frequently seen as figures associated to powerful rituals, to ‘special’ secret or magic knowledge. And, in the same way, ceramic forms, especially pots, are also profoundly infused with magical-social meanings. Associated to ancient religious practices, the pots – forms inhabited by spirits – move between the domestic and the ritual worlds.
I think that this connection between arts, archaeology, anthropology and ethnography can be a very fertile field for the creation of contemporary sculpture. From the analyses of possible thoughts, decisions, motivations and existing ideas behind each object and the reproduction of the respective technological processes, contemporary art will be able to (re)encounter new visual languages, some of them lost for a long time. In this way, artistic work can evoke new approaches in the field of contemporary art and new visions and perspectives related to studied ceramic objects, allowing them to create innovative ways of reinterpretation and evaluation of archaeological patrimony and ethnographic knowledge.