Much gratitude to Michael Cleff and Kunstmuseum Ahlen for giving us the rights to publish their beautiful catalog An den Rändern into cfile.campus. We are honored to add this to our online library. If you are a Cfile.org member, view the catalog or begin your 30-day free trial.
Feature Image: Isle 10, coffeebrown flooded, 2015, Keramik, Direktprint auf Aludibond / ceramics, direct print on aluminium dibond, je / each 33 x 24 x 5 cm 113
A series of Cleff’s sculptural work called “impromptus” was a venture aiming to to gather his interest in music with his interest in clay. To combine them. In music theory, an impromptu is a short piece of music that is “essentially improvised without any lengthy preparation, and on the other hand, is bound by a firm structure.” They are geometric ceramic shapes formed with molds. The shapes, “in moments of spontaneous inspiration” are integrated to make what could be understood as elements of surprise and structure coming together.
“[His sculptures] dictate nothing. They do not narrate any stories. They do not convey any information. They document nothing and give no instructions. And yet they are in no way mute, withdrawn or even just introverted. On the contrary, they are altogether eloquent – eloquent, that is, if we approach them with a slow, searching gaze that is in no way like the one with which we consume the distant, bodiless, run-of-the-mill images we see on television or on any of the countless digital gadgets that now rule our lives.”
This catalog documents three recent bodies of work including wall sculptures, free-standing sculpture and drawings with essays by Roland Mönig, Sandra del Pilar and Barbara Christin.
“Michael Cleff seems to be interested in a different kind of time, namely “felt time”, the subjective, human time in which a moment can seem endless and eternity can pass by in a flash. It is the time whose rhythm we can sense in gentle variations throughout our entire lifetime: the time of the four seasons, the time of recurring festivals, the time of everyday routines; the time that digs deep into us; but also the time of the flautist who plays the same progression over and over again and yet repeats it slightly differently each time until it has gradually taken shape in its natural course.” -Sandra del Pilar
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