As a whippersnapper I always had a reputation for being a bit of a butterfingers, and breaking the familial crockery was something of a hallmark of my pre-adolescence. So much so that the sight of this sculpture is enough to make me a bit panicy, but luckily I’ve got beyond my ceramicware issues to enjoy the majesty of this.
It’s a collaboration between Belgian duo Lucile Soufflet and Bernard Gigounon, whose video work we’ve long been fans of (like this http://www.itsnicethat.com/articles/951-bernard-gigounon and this http://www.itsnicethat.com/articles/bernard-gigounon-karaoke). It’s been set up in La Louvière, a small Belgian town with a 160-year platemaking heritage but the familiar contemporary struggles of one-industry towns.
“As soon as a plate is broken, an entire mechanism comes into play, with the broken plate being replaced by another one, Bernard writes on his site. "
This is subsequently also broken and replaced, etc.etc. And the dance begins, thereby giving life to the plate… The huge broken plate can be seen as both an archeological artefact
an expression of the industry’s decline and as an incongruous surreal object. Themes such as fragility, impermanence and the passage of time are not frequently dealt with in public space and thus, the plate highlights the dynamism of constant mutation."