BRIGHTON, UK.- Permanent Gallery Brighton presents Keith Harrison – Superfluid, on view 2 February - 2 March 2008. "Keith Harrison is one of Britain's leading contemporary ceramicists, pushing the boundaries of ideas and the techniques for creating ceramics by making visible what is normally a hidden part of ceramic art, the firing process." from 'Breaking the Mould: New Approaches to Ceramics', by R. Barnard, N. Daintry and C. Twomey, Black Dog Publishing, 2007, p.110
PERMANENT GALLERY presents: SUPERFLUID, an exhibition and series of live-firing events by the innovative ceramics artist Keith Harrison. Experimenting with electric currents and unpredictable processes of transformation, three live-firings will be held at various locations across Brighton and Hove: PERMANENT GALLERY, The Regency Town House and a third venue TBC. An exhibition of developmental drawings, residues and subsequent documentary evidence from the events will gradually accumulate at PERMANENT GALLERY. The growing exhibition will be a celebration of the temporality of the events and allow a closer re-examination of Keith Harrison's live- ceramics practice. This series of ambitious live-firings has been developed specifically in relation to each venue, in response to its architectural characteristics and locale.
1. GRAND at PERMANENT GALLERY - in response to the process of restoration since the IRA bombing of 1984, a scale model of The Grand Hotel, comprising a raw brick centre, skimmed with coloured layers of a clay/sugar mixture will be installed in the window of the gallery. Nine 1KW heating elements will be embedded within the model and switched on for a period of one hour. Microphones will also be sealed within the model and attached to speakers, conveying the live sounds of internal firing, further making the hidden processes audible as well as visible.
2. TWINS at The Regency Town House - within the basement kitchen in the midst of restoration, two columns composed of a clay/paint mix will be cast on top of hob cooker rings. The columns' concentric colours are derived from the house's original Regency colour scheme and also echo sticks of 'Brighton Rock'. The cooker hobs will be switched on intermittently, melting the columns from the base up, causing them to steam and slowly collapse.
3. M25 LONDON ORBITAL at venue TBC - an exact ceramic replica of a scalextric version of the M25 will be installed in an off-site venue for one evening. Two electric heating elements will be embedded in the slots of the 38-metre track that will then be filled with glaze material. At a designated time the elements will be heated rapidly to 900oC to produce two continuous blue glass lines running the whole length of the circuit, creating a temporary glass facsimile of the M25.
The concurrent exhibition at PERMANENT GALLERY will accumulate alongside the sculptural residue of GRAND, replacing documentation and evidence from previous projects that will initially be shown. This exhibition will transform and grow over the period it is open to the public, echoing the transformation and fluidity of the live-firing events.