Maya Stewart Pathak — A CONVERSATION WITH MARLON KROLL
Documentation of Marlon Kroll at soon.tw available here.
Maya – Muted and strange, olive, dust coloured, comma, basic and new
Marlon – I’m happy you said olive, I think that’s true. I think that’s a perfect summary.
Maya – Mutedly strange
Marlon – Strange but approachable, not strange like an alien, like a webbed, I feel you
Maya – It’s very naturally strange
Marlon – It is strange because of the shapes, but it’s approachable because it’s ceramic. I think there’s a comforting relationship with ceramics because of ceramics in the home, ceramics in everyday life.
Maya – And the shapes are strange but organic.
Marlon – Always very smooth lines.
Maya – So what was the process like, how did you run yourself making these?
Marlon – Well, everything starts as an inventory of objects. The beginning is establishing, usually months before hand, a bunch of objects that i want to make. Along the way, some are clear. Like this one, the tall spine against the wall, I knew. I wanted to make something graphic and taller than anything I’d ever done before. And usually along the way, since it’s ceramic, things break. For really, it’s kind of impossible to have a plan. Which seems like a stressful situation from a commercial standpoint. It’s all loosely assembled. It’s hard to make units, as opposed to things that seem temporary. Like this thing is impossible to duplicate, impossible to sell. It will never live in the same way again. It is very unlikely that they will ever exist in this same configuration again.
Maya – It seems like the intimacy of the objects compounded in the room has the impact of sculpture, like raises the awareness of them.
Marlon – Maybe, cause they feel like these everyday objects, though abstracted. I’m curious.
Maya – It’s pretty personal though, just a comment, that these pieces feel so intimate. The heightened state, the state of intimacy that there is with them, feels like one that I think is only possible in solitude, or like during sex.
Marlon – True, yes.
Maya – And I saw that one is called dick duck or something.
Marlon – Dick duck penis. It’s this one, on the radiator.
Maya – That coil?
Marlon – Cause have you seen a duck’s penis? They’re really long and they spiral like that.
Maya – Weird
Marlon – I thought you might say something about Jeba. She’s comes into, into the work sometimes in other ways.
Marlon – They are actually unresolved
Maya – Unresolved, cause the water evaporated?
Marlon – That’s not why it’s unresolved though, that’s actually the crux of the show and a lot of things that I am working towards. It’s staining as a force of mark-making. It’s leaving materials on their own, not forcing things. I relate to that in a few ways— staining as making a stain, staining as something that happens through time by itself. This is like the rust of a bolt on a kiln, something you could never replicate. Staining as something that is not desired, something broken. So this is something I am really excited about. It brings together the repetitive use of objects, drinking. And the things that happen naturally that are beautiful. Like you leave your coffee cup out in your living room and it evaporates; you have an evaporation drawing. It can be beautiful. So that’s what that is. It’s kind of like rings in a tree in some ways, though it depends on the day, sometimes it’s more humid, there’s a thicker line.
So these pots were to be large pieces for evaporation drawings though they haven’t happened yet.
Maya – The slight surprise of seeing water in there was so effective. They are almost like shoes or skins, very visceral.
Marlon – I do want them to feel slightly weird, to engage people, so you could have your own experience. That’s definitely my goal. Thank you.