TAKE ME AWAY, or the act of sculpting as a means of conveying designs, forms and techniques Take me away is a simple, but ambivalent phrase: it evokes both the world of fast, globalised overconsumption and a, far more poetic and affective, invitation to escape and find distant horizons. In this case, take me away is the title of a project that crystallizes the collaboration of Colombe Marcasiano and Sofie Haesaerts, from France and Belgium respectively. A common component of their work is their being attracted by the objects of daily life, accidental elements, objects found and integrated into their sculptures, either directly or as a formal starting point for a search and an expansive and stratified reflection. Sometimes the arrangements of their compositions also either implicitly or explicitly include dynamic, even evolutive elements... A certain fragile and delicate balance becomes visible in the compositions which seem to crystallize the instance and the ephemeral state of grace, that comes about when forms, volumes and designs meet.
Take me away explores a new direction in the fascination for displacement, decontextualization and translation of forms which underpins their practice. The original concept was Infinite Vertical Thoughts , a Residence Exhibition project which brought Sofie Haesaerts to India in 2008. In that project Haesaerts asked Indian craftsmen to reproduce, using traditional techniques (basketry, wood turning, etc.), a selection of found objects, industrial artefacts which she had gathered before leaving for India. Reversing the usual paradigms of modernism, by developing what we are tempted to call a strategy of the un-ready made (‘the artefact at the moment of its reproduction by craftsmen’...), this resulted in a series of dual sculptures, called TWINS, originating directly from the paradoxical but fertile confrontation between the industrial artefact and its labour-intensive reproduction by craftsmen in India.
Take me away is a logical extension of this project, by radicalising its scope and extending its spectrum. Haesaerts en Marcasiano intend to explore the possibility of conveying ideas, forms and designs resulting from their collaboration, by means of various techniques used in crafts and by integrating the traditions and material constraints of those very traditions. Being artists in residence at Flacc’s was for them the occasion to develop the prototypes and models that are to be realised in two separate ways: QING DAI ZOU WO in China and MUHJE LE JAO in India. From china to Bidri ware, from lacquer work, cloisonné, wood turning, bamboo basketry to vetiver, crocheting, pearls, marquetry, etc. In each country a confrontation will take place with the techniques chosen on the basis of the local traditions.
The diamond shape and circle will be recurrent patterns in the repertoire. Those designs, interwoven, combined, and deconstructed, will be the basic structure for the realisation of three-dimensional forms that will then be materialized and objectified in cooperation with the craftsmen. In a two-way dialogue between form and design, those modules will in their turn support a play with the designs as far as they are allowed by the constraints and necessities of the techniques used. As a whole those collated modules will form the basis of what Marcasiano and Haesaerts call ‘cluster sculptures’, sculptural assemblages, with infinite compositional possibilities of subtle corresponding (or contrasting) relations between colours, designs, textures, forms and proportions of each piece/modular element.
TAKE ME AWAY is also an occasion to raise aesthetic queries about processes and even to put societal questions: from the elaboration of the concept to the effective realisation of the pieces, the project, in its dimension and potential for decompartmentalization (geographically, socially, culturally, in the area of disciplines, etc.), serves as a vector for questioning, exchanging and sharing. The sharing of knowledge and abilities, the sharing of concepts, traditions and techniques, between social agents (artists or craftsmen), who each in their own ways and practices, ward off levelling and standardisation. In a spirit of integrated and accepted, implicit fertilization and mutual enrichment, without an a priori hierarchy of genres, codes or languages.