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Kjell Rylander Archives

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Reflections

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Kjell Rylander

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25-02-2012

note:

The material on the following pages are A4 paper, porcelain, brick clay, photographs, text printouts, hand-written text, glue. They are part of the reference material used in my artistic development process as a research fellow in ceramic materials at the Bergen Academy of Art and Design in 2009-2011. The A4 sheet of paper has become a symbol for my expanded role as a research fellow. In that capacity, I am expected to bring my practice closer to textbased explanations, and to contextualise my art. The A4 sheet is a standard format, obvious and simple. The paper stores signs and symbols, which thus become information and messages. The paper is a base, a plinth for signs, and thereby also a forwarder of these signs and symbols. A document. A storage place. A fundament. The A4 documents have been shown in exhibition contexts in a cube-shaped podium model, like an exhibition in the exhibition (see illustration on p. 39).

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Kjell Rylander Archives

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Objects

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Kjell Rylander

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The following pages feature porcelain, clay, paper, plaster, glue, porcelain bases sawn from saucers and plates, left-over handles glued onto paper, porcelain mug with handle removed, with glued-on paper from paper cups, two sawn-out porcelain plate bases, one part with seven holes, a plaster mould, paper cups found indoors, outdoors, in varying condition, flattened, used and processed with glued-on porcelain details, porcelain plate, used, with paper glued on around it, a shredded porcelain plate, two porcelain handles glued onto a slightly larger sheet of paper, three porcelain rods glued together out of parts of handles, two cups with parts of their walls sawn out, handles missing, sawn and modified saucers/plates, six thumbed brick clay mugs with details glued on, paper handles, porcelain handles, fragments of paper cups glued on the unfired clay, porcelain rims/edges sawn from saucers and plates, one large and one smaller paper cup with unfired brick clay glued to the bottom, porcelain mug half-filled with brick clay, twelve thumbed shapes in unfired porcelain and stoneware clay, thumbed, flat plate-like shapes, four, in unfired brick clay, with paper from paper plates and saucers glued on, paper cups, 22, stacked, with two glued-on porcelain details, a stack of A4 paper.

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Kjell Rylander Archives

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Kontentum: retrospection, reformulation, documentation

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Kjell Rylander

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21-10-2011--6-11-2011

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Pictures from the exhibition at Galleri Rom 8, Bergen, Norway. The gallery measures some 85 sq m, the space has two pillars, one round and one four-sided, the ceiling height is c. 3.6 metres. The floor is covered with a mottled-grey vinyl carpet, 12 strip-lighting fixtures in the ceiling; walls, ceiling and pillars are painted white; three large windows, one entrance, one back door, many electric wall sockets. The title of the project and exhibition, Kontentum, is a term used in the film industry to signify the ambient sounds that surround us daily. These sounds arise as the result of activities and interaction. Everything that supports, carries and holds the objects is relevant: walls, shelves, podiums and piles of paper serve as parts of sculptures; these elements which are often neutral have a supporting function, in, under, around and behind the "actual" art, and serve as an ambience in the art world every day; this exhibition emphasises their presence and their value.

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Kjell Rylander Archives

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Foreword

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Jorunn Veiteberg

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25-02-2012

Kjell Rylander has been a leading figure in Swedish ceramics ever since graduating from Konstfack University College of Arts, Craft and Design in 2001. His approach to the classical repertoire of ceramics was exciting, new and different at that time. Instead of working with wet clay, turning and modelling it to create his own shapes, he took already made cups and plates as his point of departure. Through various interventions, these objects were emptied of all utility function and filled with metaphorical meaning instead. Rylander was therefore a natural candidate for the position of research fellow when Bergen Academy of Art and Design embarked on the three-year research project – Creating Artistic Value – a research project about readymades, art and ceramic in 2008 in collaboration with the West Norway Museum of Decorative Art. The project has been funded by the Research Council of Norway’s Research Programme on Assigning Cultural Values (KULVER), and Rylander was attached to the project from 2009 to 2011. There are many reasons why more and more craft artists are finding their raw materials in second-hand shops and on rubbish tips. For Rylander, this choice of materials enabled him to embark on a ceramic practice that neither focuses on the artist’s emotional life and the imprint of his hand nor heroises or cultivates the extraordinary. Instead, it has served to draw attention to what we otherwise tend to overlook: the modest and anonymous objects that surround us in our everyday lives. Rylander’s explorations have been about what value these trivial objects can have in social and artistic contexts. In the exhibition Kontentum, which forms the core of Archives, the objects have been deconstructed and reconstructed, collected, sorted and presented in ways that are reminiscent of archives, warehouses or museum storage rooms. His years spent in a research environment have left a clear mark in terms of both content and form. His exploration of materials has been expanded to also include paper, plaster and raw clay. Rylander has even succeeded in giving his reflective contribution a form that is more visual than written. Thus, it is his distinctive experiences and reflections as an artist that govern and dominate his artistic research. In Scandinavia, it is only in the last 10 to 15 years that artistic research has been placed on an equal footing with academic, scholarly research. While the methods and forms of presentation they employ are usually very different, it is now recognised that they both contribute new insight that is valuable to society. Nevertheless, many people still ask what it means to conduct research through art and wonder what form research of this kind can take. They may find some answers at Gustavsbergs Konsthall’s exhibition Making Knowledge, from 26 May to 16 September 2012. Rylander is showing Kontentum, the artistic result of his time as a

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Kjell Rylander Archives

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Foreword

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Jorunn Veiteberg

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25-02-2012

research fellow, at the exhibition. In addition to shedding light on the research process, Kontentum also contributes to the debate about where craft is heading. It is a discussion that both the Creating Art Value project and Gustavsbergs Konsthall are interested in continuing, which is why we have joined forces to publish the book Kjell Rylander Archives. Many thanks to the authors, whose reflections on Rylander’s art provide new insight, and, not least, to Kjell Rylander, who through this documentation has made his “archive material” available beyond the limited period the exhibition will be open.

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Kjell Rylander Archives

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Artist Statement

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Kjell Rylander

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25-02-2012

For ten years, I was a builder and joiner. When I later started on my education as an artist/ ceramicist the questions that occupied me were what direction my life could take, and why, but also what new values in and around ceramic materials could I contribute and develop? These are questions that still form the core of my artistic endeavors. I have chosen not to get my fingers involved in the clay. I departed from the traditional way of using the material, which is for most ceramicists a defining issue that is in accord with the romantic image of a craftsperson’s approach. Instead, I chose to use a method more closely related to my time as a joiner. I started using a diamond wet saw (commonly used in the glass industry) to cut existing cups, dishes, and plates that I bought in secondhand shops. By reassessing what I had learnt in my ceramics training, I found a new language. I am still working with the same material but from a different starting point. This working method was meant not just to mess with my education, and myself but also to question the nature of what craft art can be. I aimed at breaking down the oppositions between everyday wares and elevated artefacts and even between unique objects and mass-produced ones.

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Kjell Rylander Archives

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Backstage Antics

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Glenn Adamson

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25-02-2012

Kjell Rylander is in every way a product of university art culture. The objects he makes are saturated with the sophistication, self-awareness, and perhaps even introversion that we might expect of an academic. He has been involved over the past few years in a relatively recent intellectual phenomenon that has been sweeping through art schools across Europe. This is called “practice-based research,” a process by which intuitive making is rendered into rigorous investigation and self-criticism. Even Rylander himself isn’t sure what the prospects of this undertaking might be. When I put the question to him, he replied with his typical restraint: “perhaps is not a question to answer; perhaps it should not be answered, but explored. We are on a new ground, intellectually.” Indeed we are. Even so, before coming on to his work, it might be worth retracing the steps so far. The concept of “practice-based research” seems to have emerged first in Britain, for reasons that have more to do with politics than aesthetics. Once upon a time, institutions of higher education in the UK were split into two broad categories: universities, which attracted upper- and middle-class students and were organized around the longestablished principles of academic research; and the polytechnics, vocational schools aimed at a working-class clientele, which avoided the open-ended, individualistic education of the universities and instead prepared their students for practical careers in engineering, nursing, mechanics, and the like. To the left-wing Labour government that came into power in the 1990s, this arrangement was no more or less than a means of enforcing traditional class hierarchy. So they abolished the division between scholarly and vocational education. All institutions were now to be universities, and anything that happened inside them was to be considered research – no matter how practical it might seem. A corollary of this great shift in British higher education was that funding would henceforth be pegged to “research outcomes,” which would be measured both qualitatively and quantitatively. No exceptions. Faculty in art, craft and design suddenly found themselves “researchers.” For some this was a welcome blast of fresh air; it seemed an appropriate way to value the increasingly conceptual activities going on in their studio-based departments. For others, especially those working with traditional skills, it was bewildering: does throwing a pot at the wheel or painting a canvas really constitute research? If so, does that mean you have to do it differently? And if not, are those activities no longer worth studying? The most recent outgrowth of this puzzling situation has been the advent of the PhD in practice-based research. Now a potter or painter can get the highest academic qualification available, equivalent to that of any historian, sociologist or chemist. Art is not easily tested – it is notoriously subjective, its significance often difficult even to recognize

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Kjell Rylander Archives

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Backstage Antics

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Glenn Adamson

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at first. Nor are an artist’s “findings” easily transported to another researcher’s practice, as a historical account, sociological analysis or experimental result in chemistry would be. Despite these challenges, the practice-based PhD is probably here to stay (for reasons of funding, if no other), and it is now being exported to other countries, including Norway. Though he is technically not a doctoral student, Rylander could be considered an emblematic product of this system, and also as an example of how it can best be navigated: that is, to use it against itself. At first his work comes off as diligent and studious, amply stocked with the elements of self-reference that graduate students are expected to produce. Much as a conventional PhD student might liberally populate the pages of a dissertation with footnotes, statistics or charts, Rylander gives us shelving: the literal underpinnings of his work. Arranged in a way that suggests both the drying racks of a pottery and the rolling stacks of a library are little objects in which handmade and readymade blend seamlessly. They strike one as jottings, notes toward a future work, but they are arranged like an archive. This is just one way that Rylander’s exhibition Kontentum submerges the evidence of his practice into the practice itself, so that there is no real space between them. He plays on the inherent fascination of spaces of making, the back rooms of the studio with their prosaic furnishings, so familiar to the artist but exotic to others. His art lives backstage, and he is more a prop manager than a leading man. The aesthetic range of the work is generic, and the materials are close to devoid in personality: unpainted MDF, metal storage units, edges of plates hard to identify. Here are the crushed paper cups he encounters on the way to the studio, subtly limned with porcelain to mark them out as objects of careful attention. There are the plaster molds necessary to make his slipcast objects, and examples of his own undergraduate student work. Taken as a whole the show is a palimpsest, in which Rylander’s personal past (including the time he spent as a carpenter before coming to art school) is compiled for careful evaluation; yet we learn very little about him. One work (or is it two?) in Kontentum sums up his approach beautifully: a pair of found office shelves topped by the trimmed rims of numerous plates, as if a kitchen cabinet’s worth of crockery had sunk magically into the shelving’s metal depths (fig. 1). The two sculptures are more or less identical, but one is displayed upside-down, admitting a view into its dusty interior (fig. 2). This doubling and inversion serves as a literal symbol of looking at things from multiple perspectives, like a good researcher should. But the rationality is troubled by a hint of madness – as if sense itself, as well as the object, were being turned on its head. (The effect of absurdity is dramatically heightened by the application of tiny accession numbers to

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Backstage Antics

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Glenn Adamson

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the many elements of the piece when it was acquired by the West Norway Museum of Decorative Art. Whoever did that was an accidental artist’s assistant, playing right into Rylander’s hands.) The work speaks to the sheer, arbitrary willfulness that is necessary to any really worthwhile artistic endeavor, tacitly making the case that due diligence alone isn’t likely to produce results.

(fig. 1)

(fig. 2) Here another thought occurs: could Rylander perhaps be read as a satirist, poking fun at the situation of the academic art student? If so the satire is a gentle one. Rylander has pointed out that “the basis of all research is that it can be criticized, questioned.” If so, it seems clear that the whole construct of practice-based research needs itself to be criticized and questioned. But Rylander does this thoughtfully, probing at the edges of his situation rather than attacking it head on. It is telling that when Rylander builds a wall, it has no front, only two backs. He’s always trying to get behind things. And if this urge leads him into an infinite regress, an uncertain terrain where “practice-based research” means not the discovery of scientific knowledge, but the piling up of questions that can’t quite be answered, so much the better.

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Kjell Rylander Archives

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The Anthropic Aura

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Glen R. Brown

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25-02-2012

The word “setting” readily applies to the rows and clusters of severed porcelain rims and handles, the blank, white plates made dentate through series of parallel incisions, and the unassuming, office-gray-steel or weathered-wood shelves that host the collections of objects comprising the recent work of Swedish artist Kjell Rylander. The place setting, an ensemble of functional tableware, is implicitly central to these haunting works, but at the same time setting as place – as environment, or more specifically stage, with all its connotations of hushed expectations for the unfolding of drama – asserts itself as a preliminary condition for yet another meaning of setting, setting as action: a process of deliberately arranging objects in space but also, and more importantly, of thereby fixing their meanings. In Rylander’s sculptures the equivalent of place settings inhabit settings through the act of setting, and together these factors set conceptual parameters for the work. These parameters embrace multiple themes as diverse as history (both the history of utilitarian ceramic objects as a class and the pasts of specific utilitarian ceramic objects), the layering of social values around utilitarian objects, recycling (both as a means of recouping objects and as a strategy in creativity), and the aesthetics of that particular variety of manipulated found-object that Marcel Duchamp described, with characteristic alliteration, as the “ready-made aided.” Despite their overdetermination – their origins in multiple causes – Rylander’s new works are as deceptively simple in form as his previous sculptures, many of which could have been mistaken for episodes in the pursuit of the kind of formal essence sought by Minimalists in the 1960s if not for the fact that their utilitarian ceramic elements resisted the autonomy fundamental to formalism. The negation of utility through Rylander’s dismemberment of cups and dissection of plates has made clear that his works are not geared for real-world function either but rather for reflection on issues such as “how artists change the value of objects through reworking them.” Reworking industrially manufactured plates and cups has been a central strategy in Rylander’s art since 2001 and the completion of his MFA at Konstfack (The University of Arts, Crafts and Design) in Stockholm. The cutting and joining skills necessary for this activity were acquired even earlier during the years when he worked as a carpenter prior to pursuing an undergraduate degree at Capellagården School of Craft and Design in 1994. Carefully sawing bland factory produced cups and saucers into cleanedged fragments that could be assembled and glued into linear or circular arrangements, Rylander drove sterility from the industrial multiple. His white coffee cups joined together like the circles of friends and companions that they metonymically evoked were, in a sense, redeemed through allusions to humanity (fig. 1). The key accomplishment of these earlier works was to

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Kjell Rylander Archives

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The Anthropic Aura

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Glen R. Brown

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demonstrate that the banality of mass-produced ceramic objects gives way to an intan-gible but compellingly human quality, something that I will for the sake of convenience describe as an anthropic aura, when they have been used.

(fig. 1) This aura is not quite the same as the aura of history, which evokes the sensation of a certain temporal separation from objects, such as the Ming porcelain sherds nestled in a plastic container on the shelf of one of Rylander’s new multipartite sculptures. The aura of history is something one experiences while casting an eye over manganese dendrites speckling the surface of a pre-Columbian figurine or the silvery iridescence of leached lead that blankets a glazed Han vessel as a consequence of centuries of internment in the earth. The anthropic aura of ceramic objects may overlap with this aura of history, as when we observe the scratches left on the interior of an albarello by a 16th-century Florentine apothecary’s spoon, but it can arise just as easily from objects that are relatively new. It may envelop ceramic objects in museum vitrines, but it is encountered even more obviously on the shelves of thrift stores, where holiday plates, slogan mugs and cartoon-character salt and pepper shakers have arrived (fig. 2), via estate sales, from the cupboards of people who made them part of their lives.

(fig. 2) The anthropic aura of utilitarian ceramic objects is not, of course, contingent upon our knowledge of the specific owners and users of those

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Kjell Rylander Archives

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The Anthropic Aura

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Glen R. Brown

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objects. It accrues to those objects simply when we perceive (or even when we falsely assume) that they have been used by some person in the ordinary course of life. But the anthropic aura does not conjure this unknown person without also stressing his or her absence, since the lips that once met the rim of a mug or the fingers that used to curl around a handle are nowhere to be seen. In this respect the anthropic aura surrounding a ceramic utilitarian object is something like the aura that we most often associate with works of art: the aura that, as the theorist Walter Benjamin famously pointed out, is associated with the artist’s hand in both a literal and figurative sense. The aura of the Mona Lisa, for example, derives not from its formal beauty, the mystery surrounding its subject matter, or its confrontation of the viewer as a portrait but rather from the realization that Leonardo’s brush actually caressed its surface and his living reflection once glided across the still-wet glazes of oil composing its smoky depths. The artist is long gone, but the work remains as a token of his former presence and his present absence. For Rylander, used ceramic objects convey this curious blend of presence and absence through their implied connections to the ambiance of everyday life, to what he describes as “kontentum” (the title he applies to his most recent series of work). “Kontentum is a term used in the film industry,” he explains. “It refers to background noise that is around us daily. The sound is so obvious that we barely hear it, but it occurs as a result of human activities and interactions. Around ceramic items such as cups and plates, there is a ‘sum of the voices,’ a buzz that comes with the use of ceramic objects (clink, crushing, slurping, scratches, etc.).” The allusions to kontentum generated by used ceramic vessels are for Rylander the chief means by which a social dimension – and therefore an important aspect of art – is manifested by his sculptures. But this social dimension – which is more than the anthropic aura; which is an anthropic aura multiplied, so to speak – is ultimately experienced as an absence. It is conjured by the mind as something that once enveloped the used ceramic objects, but it remains distant and unknowable. In recognition of this elusiveness and his own desire somehow to overcome it, Rylander gave to his 2010 exhibition at the Eskilstuna Museum of Art (fig.3), Sweden, the title “Portraits of the Anonymous.” But, of course, the sculptures only partly convey anonymity. The place settings that seem to murmur the kontentum of the settings they once inhabited acquire new sets of meanings through Rylander’s use of them. As artist, he sets those new meanings through the kind of use relevant to art, the use of materials that we associate with the artist’s hand and hence the artistic aura. That aura supplements rather than supplants the anthropic aura – the allusions to use that the found objects carry forward from their

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The Anthropic Aura

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Glen R. Brown

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former utilitarian contexts – with the result that Rylander’s objects are doubly enveloped by aura. Both life and art weave allusions around the objects, although in the end the viewer is equally conscious of the absence of those hands that once held the cups at a dinner table and the hand of the artist who set the objects in their present arrangement. The relationship between absence and presence, the past and present is rendered even more complex by Rylander’s disclosure that some of the objects incorporated into the sculptures are “leftovers, parts from my own early production that have been hidden and forgotten in my studio, like ruins or remnants from the past.” Even those parts that were not selected for use in the present contribute to a layering of meaningful absence around the sculptures. The present, Rylander asserts, is influenced as much “through everything that did not become anything” as through events that occurred.

(fig. 3) On the surface of things it might seem appropriate to group Rylander’s sculptures with the swelling current of contemporary studio ceramics in which decorative tendencies have been abandoned in favor of blank, monochromatic surfaces and personal expression has given way to an almost industrial anonymity. An impression of absence, after all, is as key to that work as to Rylander’s. But the latter conveys a kind, or rather kinds, of absence quite different from the tendentious anonymity of the artist. Through the obvious act of arranging the found components of his sculptures Rylander does manifest the ambiguous absence/presence of himself, but the haunting poignancy of his work derives even more fundamentally from masterful deployment of the anthropic aura, of the impression of a murmuring kontentum that lingers like an intangible human cloak around every used ceramic object.

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Kjell Rylander Archives

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Questioning Everyday Things

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Gabi Dewald

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25-02-2012

A fantastic cumulus cloud handle billows up the side of a cup. Like the backs of slim fish, raised plate segments emerge through a smooth, grey surface. Like the outline of a cloud, a structure made of fine porcelain arcs hovers upwards in a gently ethereal manner. In a compendious system of shelving, porcelain artefacts lie in murky depths, like notes of music scattered across their staves. What an amazing mixture Kjell Rylander’s art is. He uses only old, used, pre-existing porcelain, referring to it as “trivial” in apparent selfdeprecation. Old tableware that has been ditched, put on sale at the fleamarket at a knock-down price, given away as unloved, shoddy ware inherited from some family member; kitsch, junk, rubbish, yesterday’s goods, oldfashioned things with no further use. The dregs of everyday objects, the things left over when people leave the district, move house, die or turn their interest to new things. – Yet isn’t tableware normally considered to be charged with a highly pronounced emotional burden? Isn’t the porcelain industry always complaining that despite people’s predilection for purchasing new furniture and new clothes, their dinner service and tableware endure for ever and are the last things to be replaced, ending up stored in the attic rather than being given away? Tableware carries too many memories of our childhood or of the first time we set up home; it reminds us of special celebrations and other moments when guests were invited, as well as everyday family rituals. And as such, it reminds us of habits and moments that create our identity, memories that repeatedly confirm and are the very embodiment of our individuality. And yet: as soon as you remove tableware from our own personal sphere of reference within the home setting, this magic immediately disappears. Unlike clothes and jewellery, tableware is not synonymous with individual people, but with social frameworks, with their social conventions and cultural habits.

(fig. 1) Highly contaminated emotionally and charged with an infinite amount of information, this material which has slipped into anonymity forms the starting point of Kjell Rylander’s work. Before he began his training in ceramics,

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Kjell Rylander Archives

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Questioning Everyday Things

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Gabi Dewald

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25-02-2012

Rylander used to be a joiner. And his tool of preference is today still the saw – even when working with porcelain. A highly pragmatic approach, one might think. In fact, that’s exactly what Rylander does: he takes porcelain cast-offs and saws them up, proceeding in a carefully planned and extremely precise manner. Finally, he does what he learnt to do as a joiner: with the utmost care, he glues back together the pieces he has so carefully sawn apart (fig. 1). The forms thus created are new and no longer intended for everyday use. And yet they all speak of the everyday context, continuously revisiting it – and hence also revisiting the state of our society. Kjell Rylander comes from a background steeped in craft, arts and crafts, and applied art. Amazingly for a man working in applied art, he bucks the trend of distancing himself as far as possible from the reputation of the utilitarian, of the everyday, of consumer goods, and turns these aspects into his own artistic concept: all his objects take the everyday as their intellectual starting point quite deliberately, and the banal is his aesthetic treasure trove (fig. 2).

(fig. 2) The ingredients of his art are things marginalised in artistic contexts on every level: he uses discarded remnants; he works in a most emphatic craft-related way; he is clearly involved with the subject matter of applied art. And one might even conclude that this is the – most cunning – (marketing) concept of an artist intent on creating an unmistakeable profile. However, I cannot imagine any artist less likely to adopt this kind of approach than Kjell Rylander. An increasing number of artists are making use of found objects as their medium and means of expression. This holds true for applied art, and for ceramics in particular. Since Duchamp introduced readymade into art with his famous urinal, the artistic re-appropriation of non-artistic objects has become a frequently tapped source of inspiration. In particular, the

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Questioning Everyday Things

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Gabi Dewald

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combination of applied art and readymade takes great delight in exaggerating the trivial until it becomes absurd, of overstating bourgeois banality until it becomes comical, of stretching the common until it becomes dangerous, and of making gravitas become witty. Yet this kind of re-labelling is not what Rylander is all about. It seems that this humorous, even sarcastic and occasionally vain detour is not productive enough for him, that it lacks interest because it fails to lead to his objective. Rylander’s position among those who work with the unassuming nature and plainness of the everyday object reminds me of the porcelain installations of Edmund de Waal. To my mind, both are linked by their innate reserve and casualness, by the gentle, poetic way they question objects, spaces and relationships. Both manage to achieve a type of lyrical result – although the one makes his vessels from scratch, while the other uses found items which he fragments and reassembles in new constellations. Yet the self-restraint of the artist as an author is comparable: their work is based on first principles, on existing objects/shapes which are carefully complemented. Here, we find a plain cylindrical form, and there everyday tableware. Questions are the guiding light, not assertive statements. And whereas one of them asks questions of the architecture of inner space, of identity within a spatial context, the other is interested in the architecture of everyday life, of finding oneself amongst a corpus of habit. Yet when all is said and done, the work of both of them is full of musicality and rhythm. With his calm interventions, de Waal orchestrates space, sets optical counterpoints with his ceramic implementations and thus re-interprets existing designs. Rylander composes light, lyrical paraphrases and variations that caress and question a common theme in ever new ways. His constellations are possessed of a high rhythmic tension. With Rylander, formal arrangement is always accompanied by certain artistic interventions in form. He is never concerned with addition, with the mass per se, with the sculptural quality: we no longer find developments created next to, on top of, or with each other, as used to be the case. Where social structures are concerned, there is currently little that is guaranteed; there is only conjecture. Much seems to be in a state of upheaval. Domestic tableware from days gone by is synonymous with outmoded everyday organisational systems which apparently no longer have any value. The repetition of the form of the plate, the rim of the cup, the detached handled is co-terminus with the repetition of the question of how these elements will be handled and used in the future, and of what their significance will be. Here, too, Rylander’s interventions are always unspectacular, verging more on the casual, never an end in themselves, and hence all the more entangled. Many of his “still life” works look as if they have been taken straight

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Questioning Everyday Things

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Gabi Dewald

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from a workshop or a materials store. There is much that seems processual, temporary, experimental, as though collected and collated and likely to be modified at any given time. Even when the individual elements are firmly connected with one another. Rylander’s approach is also remarkable vis-à-vis the existing decoration of the porcelain fragments. It goes without saying that familiar patterns evoke memories, associations and feelings. Paul Scott and Caroline Slotte have long been working with this phenomenon. But Rylander’s work differs greatly from their approach. Scott works with the subversive method of alienation by embedding disturbing objects, patterns and scenery in familiar, idyllic landscapes. He thus leverages and unmasks the inertia of our habitual way of seeing things in order to make political and socio-critical statements. On the other hand, Caroline Slotte’s sublime erasure of images and motifs, with its artistic decisiveness, draws the viewer in towards the depth within her work. She removes familiar, singularly legible elements in such a radical manner that the features are only just discernable, and the viewer must invent his or her own story. Plates become stages on whose (barely discernable) scenery the eye of the beholder invents its own associative choreography. When Rylander works with recognisable decoration, he does so as an anchorage point for collective and individual memory. However, his concern is not with narrative or critical remarks. And it does not seem as if he is trying to instil any kind of position or feeling into the person who sees these decorations and thus experiences a triggering of sensations. Rather, he is exploring our collective memory with a view to enlivening it, so that as many people as possible take part in answering the questions he considers important. What exactly does tableware represent? Is it communication, or tradition? Is it our home, or maybe the plans we nurtured in our youth for our future life? Possibly even rituals? A common nature? Social status? Savoir vivre? – These concepts may seem antiquated, but are they not essential for human existence? Are they being replaced today by new values? In times when society is becoming increasingly nomadic, fast-paced and with a global emphasis, many of the memories we encounter when faced with Rylander’s tableware fragments seem miles away from us. Even a daily meal shared at home around the same table is alien to most of today’s family groups. Inimitable in its lack of all things judgemental, Rylander’s work “Street Ware” alludes to the significance of the (shared) partaking of food. He gives porcelain bottoms and handles to paper cups that have been thrown away. Here, the shared coffee-drinking experience is not that of those who sit around the table at home, but of those who rush through the streets of

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an urban environment. Here, tableware is not cherished, cleaned, preserved, taken out from the cupboard again, and handled, but used and thrown away. – What else? His last piece of work, “Kontentum”, places a very clear emphasis on the research nature of his work. Seldom before has a ceramic installation made so much sense. Rylander creates a type of archive, a walk-in directory which he fills with all kinds of different things. A viewable storage depot, accessible to researchers and the general public alike, containing found objects, moulded items, skeletal objects, as though presented on special stands, piles of stuff that remind one of a graveyard for motor vehicles. Rylander is archivist, taxidermist and sociologist at one and the same time. Everyday things are a mirror of our soul. What will they look like in the future? What will tomorrow’s rituals be? – Rylander’s interventions emphasise the competence of applied artists with regard to this question. Who, by definition, is more competent than those who get to grips with these questions? – In so doing, he pleads emphatically for a change of paradigm. He makes applied art – and hence those who are occupied with the subject – out of practical knowledge and theoretical stance that meet as a shimmering intersect, where socio-political, sociological, psychological, demographic, economic, marketing-orientated, design-specific, ecological and, ultimately, practical questions and their possible answers meet. But Rylander – archivist and researcher – reflects the answers to such questions in an unbiased manner back to society. The way he formulates his emphatically open questions and provides the merest of hints at possible answers is quite remarkable. His formal arabesques and paraphrases mark out the empty, open centre: the middle of the plate is missing or is comprised of a black mirror. Handles form the outline of a cloud (fig. 3). The edges

(fig. 3) of plates emerge from an impenetrable void. On the shelves, we see a large amount of space between the artefacts stored there. Not through ignorance. But through respect, it seems, for the multitude of answers and for the process of finding them and formulating them.

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In his work, the fragmentary is poetically stimulating (fig. 4), without even slightly prescribing any particular direction. In no way in Rylander’s work does the fragment symbolise merely the destruction or decay of things gone by. Instead, it stands for a plethora of stimuli and elements which force us into a process of reconstitution. It is an aide-mÊmoire, freed of all predetermined definition of the whole, of which it once formed a part.

(fig. 4) The phrasings describing space, which often seem to be lighter than air, invite us to complement this space and fill it with our own new suggestions. The playful arrangement of disparate elements (handles, rims of cups, bottoms of plates, etc.) invites us to compile new objects from our store of memories and habits, and thus to invent new rituals. If there is anything Rylander insists on, it is a reference to the poetry of everyday life. With a light touch, he paraphrases a meandering chain of habits, along which individuality and commonality are formed and take shape. With his sober, weightless and deeply poetic questioning of the status quo, Kjell Rylander is indeed an outstanding figure.

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A Man of Small Gestures

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1) The Course It is autumn. I have invited him, and we are teaching a course together. I know his work, but I don’t know him. We are both visitors in this country. We walk around together, from student to student, desk to desk. It is one of the first days, it is a good day. He says something that I write down afterwards. Every element you add to a work takes energy from the others. Two strong elements are weakened if you add a third. Does he mean that the amount of energy is constant? Does he apply the same idea to his words as he does to his work? Is he sparing with words so as not to reduce their power? 2) Something happens to me when I do like this There are three of us in the room. On the table are two sheets of white copy paper, and on them are some ceramic fragments, two pieces, possibly three. The fragments are roughly cut, from plates or bowls with pale pastel glazes. We concentrate on the objects, on the material qualities – a worn table top, thin, crisp paper, chiming, high-fired porcelain. The strange shapes of the porcelain, like by-products from an unknown industrial process, against the mute paper, the bland standard format. We regard how the pure white lifts the fragments, how this fraction of a millimetre makes the whole difference, separates the shards from the table, from everything. And then he takes one of the objects and moves it, he puts it in a different place on the sheet. Something happens to me when I do like this, he says. It doesn’t take long for someone else to say something, something that fills in and explains, that sounds good and necessary in the moment, but is forgotten as soon as we leave the room. 3) Hanging out with Kjell It is day, it is night. We are in motion. Foreign streets, a borrowed town. Down stairways, across bridges, underground and above. The motion is continuous. The towns merge. We are there. In a flow of people, in a carriage that shakes along tiled passages. In the heat of the day, through the lights of the night. Never still, always in motion. That is how I know him, this is where I hear his voice. Against a buzzing background of urban flickering – as though the world were moving and we were

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standing still. Here, all is transient except the dialogue, what he says and what I say. In these moments, we evade being rooted, we are simultaneously a part of the world, and not, and the sense of community materialises as a body above the buzz. 4) The Cup I have one of his works. It is a paper cup, white, with a handle, like the ones used for coffee, or hot cordial. It is crumpled and dirty. If I turn it over and look carefully, I can see that the base of the cup is not made of paper but china. It looks like the porcelain circle is cut from the base of a real cup, one with exactly the same diameter. The circle fits perfectly into the hole left by the paper base. I try looking into the cup to see the inside of the base but I can’t, the opening of the cup is tightly shut. The paper is stiff, the crumples and creases completely hard. I try moving the handles. One is folded out and free, the other is pressed under the cup. A small flap of the lower handle is squeezed in under the rolled upper edge of the cup. The handle can’t be dislodged without unrolling the edge. Why is it like that? Did he fasten it intentionally? What has he done to the paper to make it that stiff? A coffee stain runs like a circle around the outside of the cup base. In one place the stain washes up over the side of the cup. There is something strange about the position of the stain. I feel the inside of the cup – yes, it is smooth, covered with a thin plastic film. The inside does not absorb liquid. The outside does. It stains easily. But not in the way his cup is stained. 5) The Exhibition There is nobody in the gallery when I arrive. Two dividing walls confront me, one short and one long. I see the reverse side. I know he built them himself. Objects are lying on white plinths along the walls, some I recognise, some are new. I go round the short dividing wall to see what is on the front. But the front is also a back. So I immediately go round the long dividing wall. The same thing there, the wall has no front side. It is a free-standing mock-up, constructed in the simplest way to support itself, to stand upright. Against the back wall of the gallery are shelves placed close together with white objects. In front of the shelves is an upturned plinth (fig. 1). I can look inside it. The

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edges are covered in dust and cobwebs. Under the plinth, pressed against the floor, is a grey metal filing shelf. It protrudes slightly beyond the edges. I recognise it. I’ve seen that shelf many times. Turned the right way up.

(fig. 1) I can’t rid myself of the sensation of being behind something. That I’m in the back room, the place where the leftover fragments – the things needed to create the front – are stored. That things are actually happening somewhere else. Epilogue: The Forum of Half Sentences Kjell’s works make me breathe more slowly. There is something about them that requires me to calm down, collect myself. An encounter with Kjell’s works is not, in fact, that different from an encounter with Kjell himself. First of all: Kjell is not for sale. He cannot be lured. He cannot be bribed. He has integrity. Of the tenacious, painfully meticulous kind. And in the same way that Kjell is sober and modest in his work, it is pointless to exert oneself in experiencing them. There is nothing insistent, nothing dead certain, about Kjell’s works. They speak with a level-headed voice. There is something about this that has a calming effect – the fact that right here, right now, we are not playing any games. Here, the ambitions are of human dimensions. Kjell protects the factual, the core of the work, its idea. He does not allow himself to be distracted by external conventions, demands or expectations. Secondly: this is the forum of half sentences. An encounter with Kjell’s

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works is an encounter with something that is still wordless and does not easily take the form of words. His works are scant. There is no abundance in them, and therefore there is nothing in them that seeks to please. This is one of their strengths, that muteness, immutability. For just like some sentences in a conversation are left unfinished, and never need to be finished, because we understand each other anyway and the essence would wither and die if we tried – Kjell’s works give us a beginning, never more than a beginning. That does not make his works easy to decipher. The viewer simply has to put up with many loose ends, a great deal of uncertainty. And yet, it is precisely what is not there but is left open that makes all the difference, that means that something tangential to the work vibrates, is alive. In Kjell’s works, nothing is taken for granted. He surprises us. What we accept at first glance to be coincidental factors often turn out to be carefully thought-out elements. The sharp gaze, the one we use when we want to understand – and which we often routinely aim at the facade, at the object on top of the plinth – in Kjell’s works, that gaze goes astray, it is discreetly corrected and gently adjusted. Kjell resets the focus for us, he suggests a sensitive wide-angle perspective.

(fig. 2) Kjell directs our perceptive attention to things in the periphery, the things we see in the corner of our eye. He encourages us to consider what is primary and what is secondary, what is front and what is back, what is the work and what is not – in short, what we choose to focus on, and why (fig. 2). More than anything, an encounter with Kjell’s recent works is therefore an exercise in conscious perception, an exercise in manoeuvring our gaze towards the hitherto overlooked, towards that which appears at the edges of our field of vision.

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Street Ware: A series of cups in paper and porcelain

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In the documentary The September Issue, which is about life inside American Vogue, the expensively dressed and imperious editor, Anna Wintour, likes to wander around carrying a big paper cup – often one with the Starbucks logo. This detail represents something of a breach of style in a milieu that puts great emphasis on superficial elegance and glamour, but it also serves as a symbol of an absent food culture. Even though Starbucks serves good, expensive coffee, a paper cup is primarily associated with beverages people resort to when on the move. A generation ago, it would probably have been unthinkable to drink a cup of coffee while hurrying along a city street. Now it is a common sight, and disposable paper cups have replaced china cups. As the title of one of Kjell Rylander’s objects, Street Ware, tells us, this reality is his point of departure. The piece is part of a series that consists of trampled disposable mugs, picked up from the street or from a rubbish bin. They bear clear traces of their previous use, and several of them feature brown coffee stains. One cup (fig. 1) stands out from the other anonymous white or brown cups. It comes from the Swedish branch of the American fast food chain McDonald’s. Specialising in hamburgers, McDonald’s quickly expanded to the rest of the world, and it remains one of the biggest players in the fast food market. It opened in Sweden in 1973, but the paper mug in question was first produced in 2005. On 1 March that year, McDonald’s launched ‘quality coffee’ as a new beverage in its restaurants in Sweden. The new quality is signalled by the pattern on the mug. Many Swedes will recognise it as Berså, a pattern drawn by the designer Stig Lindberg for Gustavbergs porcelain factory in 1960.

(fig. 1) When Stig Lindberg (1916-1982) designed Berså, he had already been working for Gustavbergs for many years. He was only 21 years old when he came to the factory and in 1949 he took over as artistic director, a job he held until 1980. He was also head lecturer in ceramics at Konstfack for a long time, as well as making his mark as a designer in other fields. Stig Lindberg is therefore a name that stands out in Swedish design history. Berså, the most popular service he designed, was produced in bone china, a high status

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material. However, the decor was not dishwasher-friendly, and once such appliances became more and more common in Swedish homes, sales stagnated. Gustavbergs stopped production in 1974, ironically the year after McDonald’s opened in Sweden.

The Berså pattern, with its stylised foliage in optimistic green, was

launched around the same time as the idea of ‘folkhemmet’ (‘folk-home’ or ‘the people’s home’), a metaphor for the modern welfare society, had united Sweden ideologically.(1) This concept enshrines the whole social democratic vision of society: instead of promoting class struggle, the nation should be understood as a community founded on democracy and equality where everyone shows consideration for each other and cooperates. With his strong position as a designer during the 1950s and 1960s, Stig Lindberg became the person who visualised the idea of ‘folkhemmet’ most clearly. When a multinational company like McDonald’s is so bold as to borrow such a culturally charged pattern as Berså, the question of why immediately springs to mind. It was not McDonald’s that came up with the idea of printing the Berså pattern on paper cups, however, but the young designers Linda Solvang, Anna Johansson and Anna Mörner. ‘We wondered about how people socialise around a cup of a coffee today,’ they said in an interview, and their conclusion was: ’Nowadays, you don’t sit around drinking from a coffee service, but drink your coffee on the run from a paper mug.’(2) Trend queen Anna Wintour could not agree more. So, they combined a familiar and cherished decor with a contemporary paper cup and then contacted McDonald’s ‘because they symbolise modern society, which makes for an exciting contrast with the classic pattern’.(3) For McDonald’s, Berså had connotations with both quality and Swedishness, and they got these two values into the bargain by borrowing the pattern. Many of their customers had drunk good coffee from Berså cups, so the nostalgia effect should not be underestimated either. However, as ceramics connoisseur Garth Clark has emphasised, it is a distinctive feature of Rylander’s choice of already made things that, even though they are often taken from the sphere of the kitchen, it is not ‘household dishes that are piled with sentimentality’ that he chooses.(4) His variation on the Berså theme stands out here with its clear reference to the past and its melancholic undertone. We recognise the pattern and the paper cup, but it is no longer a utility object. Lying crumpled and discarded, the cup points to the pressure the welfare society is currently under. This example shows that even modest objects can embody a bigger narrative and function as both things and symbols. The cups that make up the raw materials for the Street Ware series are not just any old used cups Rylander has found and exhibited. They have also been reworked. This is a process that ’is more about destroying than creating’, as Norwegian author Karl Ove Knausgård says about the writing process.(5)

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Creating is used here in the sense of making up or portraying something that does not already exist. Rylander both deconstructs and rebuilds. The bases of many of the paper cups have been replaced by a crazed fragment from a porcelain cup, while parts from handles stick out like amputated arms. In some cases, he has attached thin, sawn-off circles from the top of one cup to another cup, so that it has ’memories of other cups attached to it’.(6) The combination of paper and porcelain gives rise to an evocative contrast: a disposable cup designed for a quick drink on the move is contrasted with the remains of a porcelain coffee service, with the associations this has with social get-togethers around a finely laid table. We are thus reminded that it is ceramics that are his point of departure, but also of a new age with new forms of socialising and ways of living. This shift in values is what the Street Ware series is about (fig. 2). Despite the dissection his work method involves, he gives the cups permanent life through the creative act of choosing them, and, not least, by giving them status as art. But their value as art is not the only added value they have acquired. By being given new meaning they have also taken on a critical function, not least in relation to the conventions that apply in the fields concerned, but also in relation to society as a whole. In my view, their new value and relevance primarily lie in this function as critical objects. The Street Ware series forces us to reflect on all the waste we produce and on the market economy that demands that things be constantly renewed and replaced. Because of their lack of utility value, they also demonstrate that, rather than creating status symbols, the craft artist’s job is to ’ask carefully crafted questions and make us think,’ as Anthony Dunne and Fiona Raby say about critical design.(7) This is a view that several theoreticians have advocated. This applies not least to Ezra Shales,

(fig. 2) who has challenged the romanticism that prevails in certain ceramics circles and argued in favour of also focusing on the histories and materials that the industry has brought to the discipline. That is precisely what Rylander has done, and in his choice of mass-produced cups as a raw material, he has

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demonstrated the truth of Shales’ assertion that ’craft is about tinkering with historical traditional and conventional social habits, but giving old needs new handles’.(8) The process of change that Street Ware addresses can easily lead us to conclude that what emerges victorious is what can be made and handled most quickly, whether we are talking about food, beverages or things. While this perspective can be very useful, it is nonetheless too simplistic. Reality is not always unambiguous and developments not always so progressive. The same year that McDonald’s launched paper cups decorated with the Berså pattern, Gustavbergs porcelain factory relaunched its Berså service in a dishwasher friendly material. McDonald’s use of the Berså pattern was part of the factory’s branding campaign and no coincidence. It gave them a lot of attention and revitalised the popularity of the pattern. So, despite all their social differences, McDonald’s and Gustavbergs were able to make mutual use of each other, just as Rylander utilises paper and porcelain taken from rubbish bins and kitchen cupboards. NOTES 1) It was the politician Per Albin Hansson who introduced ‘folkhemmet’ into

social democratic rhetoric in his speech ‘Folkhemmet, medborgarhemmet’

(‘The Folk-Home, The Citizens-Home’) in 1928.

2) www.mcdonalds.se 3) Ibid. 4) Garth Clark, ‘Art Applied’, in: Object Factory II: The Art of Industrial

Ceramics. New York: Museum of Art and Design, 2009, p. 14.

5) Karl Ove Knausgård, Min kamp 1, Oslo: Oktober 2009, p. 197. 6) Edmund de Waal, The Pot Book, London: Phaidon 2011, p. 236. 7) Anthony Dunne and Fiona Raby, Design Noir: The Secret Life of Electronic

Objects, Basel: August/Birkhäuser 2001, p. 58.

8) Ezra Shales, ‘Technophilic craft’, American Craft, April/May 2008.

See: http://craftcouncil.org/magazine/article/technophilic-craft

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About the Authors

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Glenn Adamson Glenn Adamson is Deputy Head of Research and Head of Graduate Studies at the Victoria and Albert Museum in London where he also co-curated the exhibition Postmodernism: Style and Subversion 1970–1990 in 2011. He is co-editor of the triannual Journal of Modern Craft, and the author of Thinking Through Craft (2010) and The Craft Reader (2010). Glen R. Brown Glen R. Brown is a Professor of Art History and Associate Head of the Art Department at Kansas State University, USA. He has written extensively on historical and contemporary ceramics and is a member of the International Academy of Ceramics in Geneva. Gabi Dewald Gabi Dewald was editor of the German-based Keramik Magazin Europa/Ceramics Magazine Europe 1993-2009. In 2001 she received the Ceramic Art Foundation New York Award (for critical writing). She initiated Think Tank An European Initiative for the Applied Arts in 2004. Beside working as a free-lance writer, she is currently leader of Culture and Tourism in the city Lorsch, Germany. Caroline Slotte Caroline Slotte is an artist living in Helsinki, Finland. She was a research fellow in ceramics at Bergen Academy of Arts and Design, Norway 2007-2011. The artistic part of her project Second Hand Stories is documented in the catalogue Closer, 2011. She is represented in the museum collections of V&A, London; MAD New York; West Norway Museum of Decorative Arts, Bergen to mention a few. Jorunn Veiteberg Jorunn Veiteberg has a PhD in art history and is currently adjunct professor at Bergen Academy of Arts and Design, Norway. She is a member of Think Tank A European Initiatives for the Applied Arts. Among her books are Craft in Transition, 2005 and she has edited Things Tang Trash: Upcycling in Contemporary Ceramics, 2011.

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Kjell Rylander, born 1964 in Nyköping, lives and works in Stockholm, Sweden. www.kjellrylander.com Education: Research Fellow Bergen National Academy of the Arts 2009-2011 Konstfack, Stockholm, Sweden. MFA 1996-2001 Capellagården, Öland, Sweden 1994-1996 Selected exhibitions: 2012 Rogaland Contemporary Art Centre (RCA), White, Stavanger, Norway Gustavsbergs Konsthall, Making Knowledge, Gustavsberg, Sweden 2011 Gallery Room8, Kontentum, Bergen, Norge (solo) West Norway Museum of Decorative Arts, Thing, Tang, Trash, Bergen, Norway 2010 Galleri Kunst1, Sandvika, Norway Galleri F-15, Tendenser: Craft Revisited, Moss, Norway Galerie Favardin & de Verneuil, Le Cru & Le Cuit, Paris, France Eskilstuna Konstmuseum, porträtt av det anonyma, Eskilstuna, Sweden (solo) Think Tank, Speed, IMH Internationale Handwerksmesse, Munich, Germany; Galleri Format, Bergen, Norway 2009 Trøndelag Center of Contemporary Art, Ånden og materien – tendenser og utvikling i kontemporær keramisk kunst, Trondheim, Norway Kammerhof Galerie, 06th Think Tank exhibition: Speed, Gmunden, Austria Lodz Design Festival, Non Objective: Contemporary Ceramics Exhibition, Poland Cheongju International Craft Biennale, Dissolving Views, South Korea Gallery Puls, Brussels, Belgium Kulturhuset, The State of Things, Stockholm, Sweden MAD Museum of Art and Design, Object Factory II, New York, USA Yellowstone Art Museum, Voices, Montana, United States Form/Design Center, Tingens talan i teoriernas tid, Malmö, Sweden 2008 House of Sweden, Voices, Washington, USA Gallery Artisin, Everyday Life, Jyväskylä, Finland

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Design Museum, Voices, Gent, Belgium Gardiner Museum, Object Factory, Toronto, Canada Gallery Norsu, Everyday Life, Helsinki, Finland 2007 Drud & Koppe Gallery, Functional Art, Copenhagen, Denmark National Museum of Decorative Arts, Everyday Life, Trondheim, Norway 14 th International Ceramic Biennale, Chateauroux, France Gallery IngerMolin, Stockholm, Sweden (solo) Centre Culturel Suédois, Voices, Paris, France 2006 Gallery c2, Shanghai, China (solo) Berlinale, Half A Minutes DFP, Berlin Film Festival, Berlin, Germany Museum für Kunst und Gewerbe, Voices – Contemporary Ceramic Art from Sweden, Hamburg, Germany Design Annual, Shots on Brave New World DFP, Frankfurt, Germany 2005 Bienal de Lisboa, ExperimentaDesign, Crispy, Lisbon, Portugal Designmai, Shots on Brave New World, Designfilm pool, Berlin, Germany Gallery Roger Björkholmen, Stuff, Stockholm, Sweden Meyerhoff Gallery, TheSwedishShow, Baltimore, USA Whitwort Art Gallery, Beauty and Beast, Manchester, UK 2004 FLICAM, World Emerging Artist´s, Fuping, Xian, China Crafts Council Gallery, Beauty and Beast, London, UK Gallery Andrén-Schiptjenko, Hemma hos;Fredrik, Stockholm, Sweden Sjöhistoriska museet, Subjektiva perspektiv, Modern Talking, Stockholm, Sweden 2003 Akershus Kunstnersenter, Lillestrøm, Norway (solo) Gallery IngerMolin, Stockholm, Sweden (solo) Museum of Decorative Arts and Design, Swedish Contemporary Ceramics, Oslo, Norway Enkehuset, Modern Talking, Stockholm, Sweden 2002 Stockholm Art Fair, Agata, Independent design, Stockholm, Sweden Magasin 3/Djurgårdsbrunns värdshus, ceramic objects, collaboration

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with Uglycute, Stockholm, Sweden Svensk Form, Agata, Independent design, Stockholm, Sweden 2001 Gallery Deluxe, Swedish style in Tokyo, Tokyo, Japan Gallery Konstfack, MFA-exhibition, Stockholm, Sweden Public collections: National Museum of Art, Architecture and Design, Oslo, Norway West Norway Museum of Decorative Arts, Bergen, Norway National Museum of Fine Arts, Stockholm, Sweden National Museum of Decorative Arts, Trondheim, Norway FLICAM Museum, Fuping Xian, China The Architect Association of Stockholm, Sweden National Public Art Council, Stockholm, Sweden The Röhsska Museum of Fashion, Design and Decorative Arts, Sweden Selected bibliography: 2011 Edmund de Waal, The Pot Book, London: Phaidon. Søren Kjørup: “Hvordan tingene taler. Ting som tegn og tekst,” Kunst og Kultur no. 4. Jorunn Veiteberg, “Ting i transitt. Kjell Rylanders keramiske undersøkingar”, Kunst og Kultur no. 4. Veiteberg, Jorunn (ed.), Thing Tang Trash. Upcycling in Contemporary Ceramics, Bergen: Bergen National Academy of the Arts and Art Museums Bergen. Anne Britt Ylvisåker, “Tingen og æva – flyktig kunst møter museet”, Thing Tang Trash. Bergen: Bergen National Academy of the Arts and Art Museums Bergen. Glen R. Brown, “Kjell Rylander: The Anthropic Aura”, Ceramics Monthly, June/July/August. Jorunn Veiteberg, “Fra trash til treasure”, Biennalen for Kunsthåndværk og Design. Kolding: Museet på Koldinghus/Danske Kunsthåndværkere. Reinhold Ziegler, “Oppvinning nå!”, khVerk no. 1. 2010 Pascale Nobécourt, “Uberørt materialisme”, khVerk no 4. Jan Kokkin,, “Kunsthåndverk = Kunst?”, Kunst no. 3. Jorunn Veiteberg, “Frå rusk og rask til readymades: Kunstnarar og

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teoretikarar samarbeider i nytt FoU-prosjekt”, Kunsthøgskolen i Bergen Årbok 2010, Bergen. Luckner-Bien, Renate, “Bewegung in vielschichtigem terrain Think Tank”, Art Aurea no. 2, June. Cristina Karlstam, “Vardaglig verklighet vrids extra varv”, Eskilstuna Kuriren 20 March. Lotta Jonson, “Rylander utforskar keramikens väsen”, DN, 18 March. Jorunn Veiteberg, “Continuity and Collapse: Ceramics in a postindustrial era”, Possibility and Losses. London: Crafts Council/MIMA. Jorunn Veiteberg, “Speed as stimulation, or reflections on a coffee cup”, Benjamin Lignel and Jorunn Veiteberg (eds.): Speed Exhibition and Publication 2009, Gmunden: Think Tank Publication 06. 2009 Garth Clark, “Art Applied”, Object Factory, New York: MAD. Agnieszka Knap, ed., Sakernas Tillstånd, Stockholm: Konsthantverkscentrum. Monica Larsson, ed., Tingens Talan i Teoriernas Tid, Stockholm: Sveriges Konstföreningar. Glen R. Brown, 500 Ceramic Sculptures, New York/London: Lark Books. Jorunn Veiteberg, “Kunsten å låna”, Kunst og Kultur no.1. Love Jönsson, “New routes for ceramics”, The 2008 Gmunden Ceramics Symposium, Gmunden. 2008 Cristopher Correa, “Swedish Made Easy”, The Washington Post 8 October. Judith S. Schwartz, Confrontational Ceramics, University of Pennsylvania Press. Jennie Fahlström, Konstperspektiv no. 2. 2007 Anja Johansen, “Hverdagsliv”, Billedkunst no. 7. Glen R. Brown, “Multiplicity, Debasement & Redemption”, Ceramics: Art and Perception no. 70. Breaking the Mould: New Approaches to Ceramics, London: Black Dog Publishing. Andreas Nobel, “Kaffekultur”, Vi, September. Céramique contemporaine, Chateauroux: Musées de Chateauroux, France. Bo Madestrand, “3 × kritikerns val”, Dagens Nyheter 25 March. Calle Arvidsson, “Fula koppar blir vackra”, Svenska Dagbladet 17 March. Vincent Poinas, “Céramique Ironique”, Citizen K International, Autumn 06. 2006 Fia Fjelde, “Formgivare utan gränser”, Seasons no. 3.

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Love Jönsson, “Ombytta roller”, FORM no. 5. Sara Danius, “Bordsporslinet styr hur vi umgås”, Dagens Nyheter 6 August. Ulf Beckman, FORM no. 2. Voices: Contemporary ceramic art from Sweden. Text: Sara Danius, Stockholm: Carlsson Bofrörlag. 2005 Jorunn Veiteberg, “Objects in transition: The Ceramic Art of Kjell Rylander”, Ceramics Art and Perception, no. 61. Malin Vessby, “Debatt om svenskt konsthantverk”, SvD, 6 September. Jeanne Quinn, “Not ideas about the thing, but the thing itself”, Keramik Magazin, no. 3. Emily Campbell, “My World, New Craft

Experimenta”, Lisboa: Bienal de Lisboa.

Jorunn Veiteberg, Craft in Transion, Bergen: Bergen National Academy of the Arts. Love Jönsson (ed.), Craft in Dialogue. Six views on a practice in change, Stockholm: IASPIS. Hanna Ljungström, Ulf Beckman (eds.), RE:FORM. Contemporary Swedish Crafts, Stockholm: Arvinius. Dennis Dahlqvist, “Schizofrenesi”, Expressen 8 January. Bo Madestrand, “‘Grejer’ som syns”, Dagens Nyheter 17 April. Malin Vessby, “Prylar med budskap och effektfulla hålrum”, SvD, 23 April. Cecilie N. Seiness, “Mellom design og biletkunst”, Dag og Tid 3 December. Lesley Jackson, “The porcelain revolution”, ICON, no. 022. 2004 Lesley Jackson, “Hot Swedish designers”, ICON no. 010. Lesley Jackson, “Subjective Objects”, Ceramics in society, no. 57. I-Chi HSU, FLICAM, China. 2003 Malin Vessby, “Det opålitliga”, FORM no. 6. Malin Vessby, “Självbiografiskt”, FORM no. 4. Jorunn Veiteberg, “Slutt for kunsthandverket?”, Kunsthåndverk no. 2. 2001 Helgesson Susanne, “Form att minnas 2001”, FORM no. 6. Hedqvist Hedvig, “Swedish style in Tokyo”, Svenska Dagbladet, October. Bundegard Christian, “Ud af kuvøsen”, Politiken, 20 June. Helgesson Susanne, “Leve kollektivismen”, FORM no. 4.

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Editor: Jorunn Veiteberg Translation: Douglas Ferguson/Allegro (from Norwegian), Gabriella Berggren (from Swedish), David Springall/Linea (from German) Design: Research and Development Printing: TMG Sthlm Publisher: Bergen Academy of Art and Design, Gustavsbergs Konsthall Copyright: Kjell Rylander and the authors, Stockholm, 2012 Glen R. Brown’s article was originally published in Ceramics Monthly (www.ceramicsmonthly.org). Reproduced with permission. Copyright, the American Ceramic Society. ISBN 978-91-980286-0-7 Photo credits: Joakim Bergström (cover, pp. 5-10, 13-34), Øystein Klakegg (pp. 37-44), Ernst Grilnberger (p. 83), Jan Höglund (p. 57, 63, 71), Håkan Lidman (p. 57, 61), Hanna Tønsberg (p. 73). This catalogue has been made possible by the kind support of The Research Council of Norway, Estrid-Ericsons Stiftelse and Stiftelsen Längmanska kulturfonden.


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