For their shared exhibition at Copenhagen Ceramics Marianne Nielsen and Anne Tophøj are investigating why and how we value the dish, the table and the flower, universal expressions of culture and nature.
"These common everyday objects and the most beloved iconic shapes from nature are framing in the lives of most people." says Copenhagen Ceramics. As for Marianne Nielsen, she occupies a very special position in Danish Ceramics, "She takes interest, in an almost nerdy way, in the role of nature in our culture."
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For the Elitist Folklore show Nielsen has created a flower. "Flowers hold a modest position in the arts as something banal, soft, often assigned the subordinate part. For these pieces I have let the flower be on its own, allowing it to make up the entire work. The works are about what is not directly present - the references linked to flowers, both as representatives of beauty and natural souvenirs. But they also deal with that particular application that has worn down the flower-motif and turned it into a cliché." says Nielsen.
Anne Tophøj worked with dishes for the show, using the surface for primitive and simplified pictorial representations of life and death. As any tool, they signal a specific use - the shape being determined by its presumed content. "The plate and the dish are signs of human culture and how we raise ourselves above the animals; they are pivotal in all eating rituals and our daily meals. Artefacts that we all have in common - universal, banal, indispensable tools helping us to sustain life. They are beloved and treasured objects that different cultures and times have shaped endlessly for use and for ornamentation, for the table and for the wall." says Tophøj.
Marianne Nielsen and Anne Tophøj: Elitist Folklore takes place from October 25 to November 17, 2012 at Copenhagen Ceramics in Frederiksberg, Denmark.