Johannes Nagel
vessels, perhaps


A vessel has as its reference its own stylistic history and the function. To conserve, or serve out or to present a certain content, is an orientation towards basic human needs. The necessity of producing the form in order to protect contents, meets up with the need to express oneself and to consecrate things and attribute a value to them. From the outset vessels were always designed. The forms emerged from out of the technical capabilities, the practical necessities and a sense for rituals. Rituals are the source of civilization and culture. They bestow a form upon what is lacking in design. A shared meaning develops in them, which goes above and beyond what is merely necessary to life and relates towards what is sublime and greater. From the need to represent and pay homage to this, all art has developed.
The rituals have changed, civilization has brought forth many flowers, art is ever the mirror. The manufacture of vessels is a self-evident cultural technique for all of mankind, and analogue to the role of the figure in sculpture, we can maintain that the ritual is the concrete opposite of the vessel.

And so the „vessel“ can today be a theme, in which function and ritual, our own history and the future may be reflected.
Do rituals relate to something sublime? Can they create a shared meaning? What sort of a function do vessels have today?



Assertions (excavation)

To assert means to spontaneously deem something as correct. I excavate hollow spaces in sand and then pour plaster into them. An object arises, a spontaneous gesture cast in matter. The forms which I conceive of  whilst excavating are rotationally symmetrical bodies. Symmetry simplifies an object, symmetry about an axis allows for no dorsal view. The variation lies in the silhouette. Digging in loose sand is a very inaccurate process. I  feel for the hollow space with my hand in constant movement, the control over the final silhouette is completely lacking.
The theme of the excavations is thus the relationship between the conceived silhouette and the volumes which thereby develop: an inexactness or ‘sculptural unsharpness’. Valid is what differs from the norm, the chance difference, not the reiteration of a form. A vague assertion? The act of hollowing out is wholely concrete and decisive. The object is cast and thus solidly defined.
It is a method of improvisation, of being off the cuff, of spontaneous assertion, which can only be explained in the logic germane to the process.
The blurredness was intended and is a quite concrete assertion.



 Free Jazz - The Light of Corona – One  (Cecil Taylor)

Sparse clapping, stamping, noises from instruments and voices, not in rhythm, but as a loose succession, which swells up and swells down. There is only the larger rhythm of the swelling, which accumulates out of countless spontaneous incidences; separate tones or sequences of sounds as they coincide with the dramaturgy of an abstract radio play.
From out of this a sort of rhythm does develop though, a driving succession of notes and noises; the impulses resulting at certain moments in a brief musical order, which is no sooner broken up again.                  
Regularity, a repeated or identifiable principle which might result in a harmonic whole is missing. Perhaps there is a meta-harmony, which may only arise in the aurally perceived over view.
The aural memory hangs inexactly in the air, whilst the next notes come jostling over. The music is so acute, that simultaneous remembering and listening is a strain. The elements can hardly be recalled, because they are spontaneous inventions. Never can one escape from each one of them now.



Form follows function

In the original axiom the form follows the function, as the shape which corresponds to the purpose. The functionality in this work is not related to the potential of a thing to be useful, but rather to the logic involved in its manufacture.
The necessary work steps to make a form mould with which objects can be reproduced in porcelain, are subject to specific preconditions. A sort of three dimensional stereotype has to be made in plaster, which forms a closed volume, or receptacle for the liquid porcelain. The usually many-pieced stereotypes must then be capable of being taken apart, so that the model around which they have arisen, and subsequently the reproduced object shall not be damaged.
I interrupt this process before it is finished and use the stereotype incompletely. The function of (pouring) the form is extended. As a fragment it becomes part of the object and forms a threshold, a border, like the frame which separates the picture from the wall.