Sylvia Henze – Metamorphosen

Sylvia Henze – Metamorphosen

on show 26 October until 20 December 2019


It takes nearly fifty minutes until the porcelain ball dissolves. A veil of whitish fog slowly densifies on its way up, the formerly black backdrop to the clear white ball becomes milky. The reflection of the ball in the back is the first to go, with the ball disintegrating in the foreground. Ever bigger parts break off the ball until it is decomposed into an amorph heap of kaolin clay.

The decay is a process of transition from one state into another, a metamorphosis. Transformed from a manmade product of clear outlines into an amporph heap, shaped by chance, by water, its movement and gravity rather then the artist.

As the ball in the video, the porcelain sculptures of the ZEIT | EN project follow gravity in the transformation process. Soaked in fluid porcelain blocks of sponge are exposed to the fire of the kiln. With the sponge being the first to go before the porcelain has fully stabilised in the heat, the center of the sponge collapses, forming landscapes of caves and canyons, stalactides and stalagmites.

Chance is an important element of the “fire drawings” that Henze induces through a differentiated burning process. Straw, metal salts and fire collaborate in the closed kiln, drawing abstract patterns on porcelain papers. Fire takes over as artist with the dual element of heat as destructive and preserving power.

Water and fire become the creators of Henzes works, form sculptures and draw abstract patterns on the papers, that have been preserved for eternity in the aged and destroyed appearance of the porcelain.


photos – from top to bottom: Sylvia Henze – video stills from the project ZEIT | EN // lightbox from the project ZEIT | EN || o.T. (porcelain sheets)