London based Chilean artist Livia Marin turns mass produced consumer objects into surreal works of art, by combining elements of sculpture, installation and process art. Growing up in the tumultuous socio-political landscape of Chile, Livia’s work is informed by the highly volatile political environment with Chile transitioning from a disciplinary regime to one with a neoliberal economic agenda. By exploring our relationship with consumerism and mass-production Livia thoughtfully employs everyday objects and turns them into reflections of our dependence to this materialistic society; and how our identities are becoming increasingly shaped by things we own.
Her latest projects, Broken Things takes everyday objects like hand-painted ceramic antique tea-cups and pots and altering their realities — presenting them in a perpetual state of reduction. The objects are cracked and liquefied — intricate floral patterns and printed motifs melt onto the floor. Forcing her audience to look at what are often considered precious objects in varying states of disarray, putting forward juxtapositions of care and loss, and our relationship with the things we use on a daily basis. The effect is strangely calm, with a sense of ruin always lurking underneath.
Another aspect of this work is photographic. Here, Livia takes oddly intimate photographs of broken ceramic objects, tearing them apart and putting them back together with gold thread stitching. Informed by the ancient Japanese technique of ceramic restoration, Livia gives these photographs a new and fragmented life, reflecting on our fragmented and broken human relationships not just with each other, but also with the objects that populate our lives.
Words by Hannah Tan