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Fabian Marti

Untitled, 2011
glaze, fired clay
42.5 x 43.0 x 40.0 cm
Fabian Marti, who has become one of the main figures of the rising generation of the Swiss artistic scene, uses hybrid mediums, such as the photogram, ceramics and tapestry, which link together handcrafted works and mass production and call into question notions of creativity and authenticity.

His interest in ceramics is not only motivated by the manual component of its hand-crafted manufacture and the archaic quality of the raw material used, but also because of the physical involvement that this practice requires. His clay sculptures (Untitled, 2011), consisting of several irregular horizontal rings piled on top of each other, knowingly retain the traces of their creative process on a potter’s wheel and testify to the artist’s physical contact with the material, before being immobilised by an enamelled glaze, ready to be exhibited.

In a film called Because I Travel a Lot, Marti reveals in detail the manufacturing process of his sculptures via one of the oldest craft techniques practised by man, namely pottery. The hypnotic nature of these vases turning in the skilled hands of the craftsman finds a perfect harmony in the female voiceover which accompanies these images. It says the words of Terence McKenna (1946-2000), a philosopher and ethnopharmacologist, who described culture and its stylistic conventions as a system of exploitation of our brain, made up of stereotypes and collective values, in the capitalist era. He proposed deleting it, just like a computer software, not only via journeys and discoveries, but also through the consumption of psychoactive substances. To the sound of a drum which carries spectators along into a trance journey, the words invite them to once again become aware and to take possession of their lives, by reuniting with their ancient animal spirits and primitive instincts.
Fabian Marti, Untitled, 2011