Korla Luckeroth Molitor
Artist Statement: Korla Molitor
I use my commute as an opportunity to observe the surrounding world and the many details that make up the place where I live. While riding my bike, walking, or driving, I ruminate on the lives and actions of the inhabitants around me and the places they occupy. Many factors inform the facade of dwellings; some of which include the intentions of the architect, the depth of the owner's pocketbook, the current inhabitant's priorities, community ordinances, and weather conditions, among many others. Noting the different life choices, architectural styles, and quirks of this place, has given me a more complete picture of what it is like to live in Minnesota in the early part of the 21st century.
In response to my interest in various dwellings, I started to develop narratives about these buildings, from stories I heard, information from the newspaper, and photographs I took. With these constructed narratives as inspiration, I create ceramic sculptures of dwellings that serve as a portraits of the people who live within. My desire is to bring to the surface issues that we know or have not yet acknowledged about our surroundings and ourselves. By looking at the dewlings as portraits, my initial impressions slowly turned into complex stories as details emerged. Some of the topics that surfaced were historic preservation, seasonal affective disorder, hoarding, bed bugs, urban design, the housing market, water consumption, master planned communities, and the local economic climate. I am attracted to how we visually develop and remember stories and how our imagination pieces together what we know with what we do not. Through the ceramic landscapes that I make, I fuse the facts of existence with psychological play, giving a more thorough sense of how we remember and store information and the stories that we experience in everyday life.
Each piece speaks of a different lifestyle choice, current event, social issue, and how these are reflected in our dwellings. The work documents a point in time and place in history. Some of the issues are region-specific and others are occurring all over the country.
I grew up in the house my father and mother built together in the countryside outside of Saint Cloud, Minnesota. My parents instilled a strong work ethic in me and taught me the joy of working with my hands. This approach to life imbued my siblings and I with the philosophy that our lives as well as our dwellings were ours to manipulate and sculpt into what we want them to be. It also taught us the power of determination and self-reliance. If we wanted something done, we could do it ourselves.
From as early as I can remember, I always saw a home as a reflection and a portrait of the people within. Whether decisions were consciously or unconsciously made, or whether the elements were by choice or chance, they formed a visual history of the occupants' lives. Sometimes a person's dwelling reflects more on the individuals social standing as opposed to representing their personal views. Where one chooses to habitate may be a place of transition or happenstance. One might not have the ability to acquire something else. I do not wish to pass judgment while depicting some of these places but merely point out that they exist; that they are there. History is worn on the surface of the structure and it often tells so much about the dwelling and the prior or current occupants.
The allure for me of the medium of ceramics is rooted in its tactility and workability. As a fifth- generation Minnesotan, I come from a long line of farmers and people who enjoy working with their hands. There is something humbling and natural about working with clay and soil. In the end, both jobs leave you with an end product and a sense of accomplishment. Often the places and structures I depict take the form of the miniature. I believe that small structures convey an intimate poetic space in which landscapes float like memories and the viewer is enticed into the narratives in a non-confrontational way.
Made in USA
One of a kind