mike gesiakowski

ceramic sculpture + pottery

           In my work I investigate the process of physical and cognitive degradation by using the construct of architecture to question our perceptions of memory and our concept of place. I draw inspiration from degraded and weatherworn buildings and their ornamentation: aged stone and terra cotta facades, fractured adornments, such as stained glass, and other architectural components that have been left to the elements. My aim is to capture the unperceived intricacy of this ongoing process of deterioration.

            My work presents narratives of the impermanence of memory, and by creating a connection with man-made structures I’m looking to reveal the correlations between architecture and our recollections, that being the slow erosion of both over long periods of time. The degraded forms and surfaces are metaphors for our individual memories and how these decay over the course of a lifetime, obscuring the line between veritable facts and the accuracy of our own recollections. The bright, enlivened surfaces offer a contradiction to this state of decline, as memories are altered and embellished through imprecise remembrance. Similarly, the two-dimensional imagery in the work is a flattened representation of the three-dimensional ornament found within architecture of the last century. This diminished dimensionality conveys the transformative aspects of our experiences from real world existence to the stored information in our minds. The engagement between the deteriorated forms and the obscured surfaces suggest a temporal and spatial connection to our own brief, chronicled existence.