In the middle of Berlin’s premier department store KaDeWe a ‘porcelain’ bowl tips over, sending its contents spilling over into the ground floor atrium – but time suddenly stops, freezing the blue liquid within as it splashes over the edge.
This new installation, Made to Stay, was created by interior design company Spot On and modelmaker Imitat to celebrate 250 years of the Königliche Porzellan-Manufaktur (KPM) in Berlin.
The six-metre-high bowl, presented on a plinth, is a giant version of KPM’s Kurland design, just one of the stellar designs that have been produced by the porcelain manufactory since it was founded in 1763.
As well as the enlarged Kurland model, the breadth of KPM’s expertise in porcelain tableware, figurines, vases and pots will be on show at KaDeWe until August 31 – including a miniature porcelain version of Berlin’s Brandenburger Tor (Brandenburg Gate.)
This giant version of the Kurland bowl is not in fact porcelain at all, it’s made from Styrofoam covered with rigid foam to look like the real thing. This kind of illusion is what Imitat does best. ‘We’re a workshop of imitators,’ explains Beate Kelm, theatre sculptor and owner of Imitat. ‘Our task is to make things that exist only in other people’s imaginations.’ Imitat has created life-size mammoths, Egyptian mummies and animals as props for countless museums, films and television.
Even so, the task of recreating the look and feel of fragile porcelain proved a new challenge. ‘We’ve created a huge number of objects but never such a big piece made of porcelain,’ says Kelm.
Deciding how to represent the 250-year-old porcelain manufactory as a heritage brand yet one that appeals to a modern, forward-thinking audience fell to the team at Spot On.
‘In creating a monumental installation, the basic materials also end up playing an extremely important role,’ says Alex Süssmann, managing director of Spot On. ‘Our creative team searched long and hard to fittingly display the medium of porcelain.’
The sculpture Spot On and Imitat have created captivates people as they enter the KaDeWe atrium and provides an immersive centrepiece to the KPM 250-year celebration display.
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