Meaty-looking chunks of pit clay are vacuumed in plastic bags and presented on shiny metal platforms in the exhibition space. The clay was extracted from the ground in the Westerwald in 2015 and used there for the installation Erdzeit. It is estimated to be 30 million years old, can be assigned to the Tertiary period and is no longer available today. The recycled clay is preserved in its original moist state by the modern plastic skin.
From the Series Clay Studies:
In Clay Studies, Simone Kessler has concentrated entirely
on the material clay, aiming to create something temporary,
something that lives and continues to develop. The starting
point for her series of works was her piece Boden, a 50-square-
meter room with a smooth floor made of earth-moist clay.
The artist had brought 3.5 tons of raw material by trailer from
a Hessian clay pit to the exhibition space and spread it out
on the floor in painstaking manual labor until a flat surface
was created. In the exhibition, the clay surface could be viewed
but not walked on. Kessler was primarily concerned with
the spatial effect of the material and the confrontation with
its transformation process. After the exhibition, she tore the
work down: crushed to powder and mixed with water, the clay
became a mass with homogeneous color and new suppleness
again. It serves as a raw material for subsequent works.
The objects created from the recycled clay are once again entirely
dedicated to the material and its processes of change.
The unpreservable state of the material is an important subject
in the series Clay Studies.