Graciela Olio (Argentina)

Graciela Olio from Argentina for keramici:

My artistic practice is built from a poetics anchored in a cultural mixed race identity shaped by a Pre-Columbian, Hispanic-American and European immigratory past.

Exceeding the anachronistic dichotomy between art and craft, I work ceramics breaking the barriers that oppose fine arts to popular arts. I give account of this complex identity in my work by gathering in it multiple cultural contributions, opening my work to the most diverse significations, to the complexities of the present time,
to the mixing of different cultures by inserting and combining western topics with referents in our territory so as to articulate the most disrespectful combinations between historical events, memories of our childhood, games, power, childhood-fantasy, popular kitsch and the bestiaries, all of which are infected with a touch of humour, irony and nostalgia.

This pluralist art tries to be an open space that allows for a critical look and does not turn into a place where knowledge is made up of certainties.
Quite the opposite, I prefer dialogue and questioning in interpretative positions.

The interdisciplinary art is also combined in aesthetic operations which lead to re-considering disciplinary autonomies. Art – be it ceramic, graphic, sculptural, pictorial, photographic or mixed – is the foundation of my work, in which the object is hoisted as the icon of my project.
By assembling, fragmenting, multiplying, serializing, unifying, fusing, printing and modelling I work on both raw and fired material. Raw material becomes part of my ceramic work, completes it and articulates it in the foundational axis of my aesthetics: the mixed medium.


Project South is a “work in progress” in which I use images transferred from Simulcop booklets (Argentinean schoolbooks used to help drawing during the 60s and the 80s) to propose a journey through South America and Argentina.
The drawings of political, hydrographical and climate maps as well as maps showing our flora and fauna, different parts of important cities and ports, and the most im-portant American products show the ideal representation of our continent’s recent past.
Project South is a commitment to the future of our region, a work anchored in the ironic game of our memory.

Home Series

This series, which is part of Project South, expresses and affirms a place of belong-ing. A region, Latin America, a continent South America, a country, Argentina, a city, a house, a home. Modest, almost collapsing houses are a regular sight in the cultural landscape of both, South and Latin America. The ironic word “Home” entails a trick, almost a funny one, in this poverty context. The simplicity of the dwelling, made up of printed cardboard shows the sad reality we have been facing for years now.
There are roofless houses, houses on the verge of catastrophe, houses falling apart and self- sustaining houses. This is a series in permanent construction and its meta-phorical development manifests itself as a symbol of resistance.

Material and technique

I have been working with German porcelain sheets (Keraflex) since 2009; the quality of the ceramic print with ceramic-graphic techniques is optimal.
For my 3D constructions, I cut the sheets with either cutters or scissors and I use models, then I paste them together and form the piece. Generally, the printing techniques are photoceramic processes of gum bichromate, direct transfer from photocopies and vitrifiable digital decals. Occasionally, I also work on plain forms with glazes or metallic lustre or just with the plain material, in order to highlight its own qualities.

Pictures: Project South, Home Series, porcelain sheets (Keraflex), ceramic printed, graphic methods such as gum bichromate photographic processes or laser decal.

© the artist

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