P a o l o P o r e l l i
The installation “Panthèon Blanc” is composed of a group of images heterogeneous in nature and dimensions, arranged on five rows of ascending steps. Each sculpture reflects an openness to the influences of the history of art of all times and places, passing through the votive sculptures and figurines of the Western and Eastern traditions to linger over the white porcelain figures of Blanc de Chine. “All the gods” is the significance of the ancient Greek word “pantheon”, a concept developed further by the Romans to allow all the divinities of different cultures to co-inhabit under the same sky and to coexist peacefully.
The installation presents itself as a review of mythological figures of diverse morphologies and styles almost as if identifying a globalisation of the deities parallel to the temporal phenomenon of globalisation that invests our society. Divinity, a concept almost unknown to contemporary man, is understood as human psyche that is the product not only of our personal dynamics but also of a collective unconscious, an innate genetic instinct, a shared heritage, of our belonging to nature. The unconscious is a zone from which the sacred arises and the images that spring up from this are the gods.
The sculptures are composed of porcelains from many countries, including France, Spain, Germany, Northern Ireland, Australia and China, used separately or combined in a special blend of paper clay. The recycled porcelain of diverse provenances, reunited in a new mixture of porcelain, becomes a metaphor of biological and cultural contaminations, the maximum expression of our times. This plurality is also expressed in the use of many ceramic techniques used contemporaneously (slip-casting, coiling, slabs, modelling, and immersion of organic and synthetic materials) to define the diverse natures of the figures of the Panthèon Blanc. The origin of the forms in this installation marks a significant return to hand-building in parallel to the use of slip-casting, a technique that gained prominence in my work since my participation in a formative Blanc de Chine ICAA residency in 2017.