NIt wasn’t until Cash for Rare Things that the general public realized what made porcelain truly valuable: perfection. To determine this, ZDF TV show dealers don’t just look closely. Even “80-Euro-Waldy” (Walter Lehnertz), who usually specializes in junk, then taps and caresses the pieces, most of them long since baked, to hear and feel the cracks and the tiniest cracks. Which always causes some concern among his colleagues, because men from the Eifel region are more likely to have developed gross motor skills.
With more than 275 years of history, the management of the Nymphenburg Porcelain Manufactory knows all too well what perfection means. In a sense, it’s their business. And this has been since the time of Elector Max III. Josef set up an election factory in his “Green Castle” in Neudeck near Munich. The artist Rolf Sachs also repeatedly dealt with perfection. This was also part of his exhibition “Typically German?”, which was shown ten years ago at the Museum of Applied Arts Cologne (MAKK). Although not in the literal sense of the word, it resonated with such German concepts as neatness, a sense of duty, punctuality and even care.
Sachs interpreted each word in his exhibition by placing an object, a specially created object, or even an installation next to it. For example, the sense of duty consisted of five garbage cans. On the one hand, he appealed to the Germans’ enthusiasm for recycling. On the other hand, these were not ordinary garbage containers for plastic, paper and glass, but for schadenfreude, stubbornness, intolerance, envy and the bourgeoisie. It is often said that these are the qualities that Germans possess.
Know the right amount
The love of beer is also typically German. Of course, Sax couldn’t get past her either. And so the artist, born in Switzerland in 1955, created a huge seven-liter jug. In appearance, it still unmistakably resembles the beer mug familiar to us from the festival tents at Oktoberfest. “The/The Measure,” as the name suggests, is a vessel made of the finest white porcelain. Manufactured at the Nymphenburg plant. Glass jugs, according to Sachs, were often used without restraint. This is not possible in this case because it is too easy to break. So you need to know the right measure when using this vessel, which reminds you of moderation.
Perfection also plays a role in his new collection in Nymphenburg. More precisely: imperfection. Because, says the sixty-eight-year-old, perfection often feels a little sterile. “I’ve always loved imperfections more and more.” One might think that this is an insult to a factory based in Nymphenburg Palace since 1800. Sachs jettisons everything they stand for, write the Nymphenburgers, but with an approach that strikes a balance between faire and laissez-faire. “In his new creation for Nymphenburg, porcelain is kneaded with enthusiasm, shaped with intuition and courage, bent and pressed spontaneously. Insult? Declaration of love!
It has cracks and fingerprints. For Sachs, this means feeling the material with your hands. Give it a seemingly arbitrary shape so that in the end the function remains intact. Because pressed and almost crushed sausages are candlesticks. The name of these unique works: touch. For Sachs, this is a conscious break with today’s perfectionism as the general standard.
This work should encourage people to acknowledge—and celebrate—shortcomings. For the artist Sachs, the focus has always been on connecting with people. “The more eccentric we are, the more we show our character,” says Sachs, and encourages us to stop hiding our flaws and live with them and even enjoy them. However, it is questionable whether the Germans can do this as well as the rest of the world.
Source: Frantfurter Allgemeine
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