The Seven Deadly Sins
The deadly sin Morten Løbner Espersen commits most often, the one he revels in, is gluttony, in the sense of immoderateness. His approach to ceramics is utterly baroque. This can best be explained by describing his work in terms of the different ‘genres’ he has developed. The first of these are sober vessels, minimalist containers, which are, however, the support for the most excessive glazes. He builds up the skin of his vessels with multiple glazes, often in exuberant colours. The many layers of glaze run and trickle across the vessel, creating folds, bubbles, hills and holes. They leave traces like snails do. Some glazes are almost transparent, revealing other glazes beneath, whereas others are opaque and absorb the light and colour of the glazes they cover. They are always abundantly material and heavy.
In the second genre, the Horror Vacui series, Espersen zooms in on the skin. The glazes are no longer just the covering of a vessel: they overgrow rankle the vessel and become its form. This baroque transformation is like the gaze of a viewer who follows the folds of a curtain: the gaze is not stable; it moves and has no vanishing point. The subject and object of the gaze are completely entangled. Proportion and scale play a fundamental role in this endless transformation.
The third genre is the result of a further zooming in on the most basic material element of the glaze: the drip. It is as drip that the glaze shows its materiality most abundantly. Only then is it heavy. But the drip is put on a pedestal: it is reversed, it stands rather than hangs, and looks, one might say, like a mushroom. Glaze has been promoted to form. The container has been swallowed by it.
Ernst van Alphen, Amsterdam, July 2015