EUROPEAN CAPITAL OF CULTURE CHEMNITZ 2025
MONUMENTAL PORCELAINS @ PURPLE PATH
to the inauguration of the sculptures
ONE MILLION - ITEMS 3501 / 3502
August 19, 2023
Alte Dampfbrauerei Schwartz
Niedergraben 11, 08294 Lößnitz
With greetings from
Mayor of the city of Lößnitz
State Secretary Prof. Dr. Thomas Popp
Representative of the Saxon State Government for the European Capital of Culture 2025
Head of the Cultural Department of the City of Chemnitz
Managing Director Program of the Kulturhauptstadt Europas Chemnitz 2025 GmbH
The work of Uli Aigner will be introduced by
Anja Hell, M.A.
Managing Director of the MEISSEN PORZELLAN STIFTUNG
Curator of the flagship project PURPLE PATH
The artist Uli Aigner will be present.
On August 19, 2023, the sixth art installation will be inaugurated at the PURPLE PATH art and sculpture trail in Lößnitz, one of the five flagship projects for the Capital of Culture Year 2025. The two monumental porcelain vessels ONE MILLION - ITEM 3501/3502 by Berlin-based artist Uli Aigner will take their place in the mountain town.
The life project ONE MILLION, developed since 2014 by the artist Uli Aigner, who was born in Austria in 1965 and lives in Berlin, is created with the hands and through the rotation of the turntable. In cooperation and communication with others, the artist, who studied product design and digital image design after completing an apprenticeship in pottery, creates a wide variety of vessels from porcelain, ranging from tiny to superhuman in size. Aigner carves a sequential number into the wet porcelain for each of the approximately 8,500 items she has created so far, fires the porcelain with transparent glaze, and locates it within a larger whole. On a world map, which can be seen on the artist's website www.eine-million.com, the locations of the vessels and their changing provenances are recorded in a global archive.
The two monumental pieces in the series, numbered 3501 and 3502, were created in 2019 in collaboration with potters in Jingdezhen, China, the world capital of porcelain and the former imperial production site of the legendary Ming dynasty. Weighing around 800 kilograms, Item 3502 was unable to withstand the forces of nature and collapsed during the manufacturing process. The supposedly broken item was included by Aigner in the series of ONE MILLION as possible forms of existence in the Porcelain Code, alongside the equally supposedly intact one.
Spatially, Lößnitz follows the mining towns of Schneeberg and Bad Schlema in Germany. While cobalt was mined in Schneeberg by the Schnorr family of entrepreneurs in the Ore Mountains as early as the 17th century, the "St. Andreas Zeche Weiße Erde" (St. Andrew's White Earth Mine), which they operated, followed in 1708 as a mine for kaolin, the basic material for "white gold" porcelain. Until then, fine Chinese porcelain had been imported for the European ruling dynasties, but in 1710 the first Meissen porcelain works was established. Thus, the Ore Mountains supplied the hardware for the blue decorated Meissen porcelain, which followed Chinese fashions.
Aigner chose Lößnitz as the location for the placement of the monumental Items 3051 and 3502, which were sculpted in China, thus closing a circle.
The PURPLE PATH art and sculpture trail
The landscapes around Chemnitz - the Ore Mountains, Central Saxony, the Zwickau region - are deeply marked by the 850-year history of mining. The mining of silver, tin, cobalt, kaolin and bismuth has determined life; all roads, streets, settlements have something to do with it. It is a history with ups and downs that wants to be rediscovered in the 21st century.
"C the Unseen" is the leitmotif of the European Capital of Culture 2025. Chemnitz and the region will welcome visitors from all over the world. A central artistic offer is the PURPLE PATH art and sculpture trail with works by international and Saxon artists.
Curated by Alexander Ochs, the PURPLE PATH is based on the narrative "Everything comes from the mountain" and connects 38 communities in the Ore Mountains, Central Saxony and the Zwickau region with the European Capital of Culture Chemnitz 2025.
Uli Aigner's Monumental Porcelain Vessels is the sixth artwork on the continuously growing PURPLE PATH. Works already installed are by Nevin Aladağ in Zwönitz, Tony Cragg in Aue-Bad Schlema, Friedrich Kunath in Thalheim, Tanja Rochelmeyer in Flöha and Carl Emanuel Wolff in Ehrenfriedersdorf.