Irene Nordli

Untitled, 2003

The ceramicist Irene Nordli has found an old decal at a Norwegian
porcelain factory. The motif is a winter landscape featuring Sami people
and reindeer that was probably used for a souvenir or Christmas
ornamental plate. The drawing is by one of the factoryís best porcelain
painters, Harald Vemren. He started at the factory at the age of 15 and
worked there for 55 years. He had a craft certificate as a porcelain
painter - a skilled worker, in other words. Irene Nordli has created a
collage combining this design with a mass-produced design portraying a
flock of sheep, and she has transferred the collage to one of the factoryís
standard plates. Both the printing technique and the object itself are
related to the process of industrial production and would previously have
been unthinkable in the context of studio ceramics. To appropriate
objects and images created by others, as Irene Nordli does, raises
questions about concepts such as authorship and authenticity. Her
practice requires more mental skills than manual skills. As an artistís
role, it can be viewed as a response to the change from an industrial
society to a consumer and knowledge-based society. But in using the
stolen image, she also turns the spotlight on the visual culture production
of the many craftsmen in the ceramics industry. A tension thus arises
between different ways of working and different artistic strategies, past
and present.

Jorunn Veiteberg

Irene Nordli (born 1969) is a ceramicist based in Oslo, Norway.




Search the site