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New Positions: 2023 Edition
March 11 – April 8, 2023

New Positions: 2023 Edition


March 11 – April 8, 2023

Matéria in collaboration with Norwegian Crafts is pleased to present NEW POSITIONS, 2023 Edition, including works by four contemporary artists based in Norway. The works included in this special project are the result of the artists’ recent residency in Detroit. The project, now in its third edition, is coordinated by U.S. based Danish-born ceramist Anders Ruhwald.

During the residency, artists were paired up with local institutions, with access to their studio facilities, as well as their professional network, including opportunities for exchange with and immersion in the current Detroit art scene.

New Positions, 2023 Edition, presents works by:





Norwegian Crafts is a non-profit organization founded by the Norwegian Association for Arts and Crafts in 2012 with the aim to strengthen contemporary crafts from Norway internationally, with a focus on fostering opportunities for dialogue and exchange. The organization is glad to support four artists from Norway with a residency in Detroit in collaboration with Anders Ruhwald, Cranbrook Academy of Art, College for Creative Studies and Simone DeSousa Gallery. The artists, Philipp Spillmann, Heidi Bjørgan, Alessandro Marchi and Karin Forslund, were chosen for the residency in Detroit through a juried open call.

NEW POSITIONS, 2023 Edition will open to the public on Saturday, March 11, with a reception from 5 pm to 7 pm, and will be on view through April 8 at our Cass Corridor location.


Heidi Bjørgan (b. 1970 in Trondheim, Norway) holds an MA in Ceramic Art as well as Creative Curating from Bergen Academy of Art and Design, Norway, and Konstfack, Sweden.

“I am making pots for art’s sake, God’s sake, the future generations, and for my own satisfaction,” claimed the eccentric American potter George Ohr (1857–1918) more than a century ago. Ohr’s expressive ceramics have been a great source of inspiration to me in later years. Through my objects I like to challenge conventional ideas about perfection by “deleting” all traces of acquired professional skills. In principle my main method consists of doing all the things that in theory should be impossible such as blend glazes, clay types and other sub­stances that can­not be mixed. In this way I ex­pose the works to treat­ments where the risk of mak­ing ‘mis­takes’ is very high. The objects may often look as if though they have melted and imploded in the kiln. Making is to me a balancing act between the constructive and the destructive, the beautiful and the ugly. “


Bjørgan’s work is part of national and international collections, including The National Museum in Oslo, Nordenfjeldske Kunstindustrimuseum in Trondheim, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, KODE in Bergen, and V&A in London, and several private collections around the world.



Karin Forslund (b. 1984) was trained at the National School of Glass in Sweden, holds a BA in Glass from the Royal Danish Academy on Bornholm, and an MFA in Glass from Rhode Island School of Design.

Forslund’s work takes its vantage point in a deep-seated interest in material and technique coupled with the urge to question, in a literal as well as conceptual sense. Her work ranges from the ongoing project Balancing Process, that is based on glass chemistry and investigates definitions of material composition and execution of craft, to abstractions of words such as transparency, opacity, and mirroring. The project Acts of transparency – On Negative Capability showcases a series of performative video work and spatial installations that deal with intimate experiences, such as silence, invisibility, and resistance. Fragility and strength.

Forslund received the Bronze Hetsch Medal of Craft in attendance of Her Majesty The Queen of Denmark in 2015 and was awarded 1st price at the European Glass Context in 2016. Her work has been exhibited internationally, including the decennial glass prize exhibition Young Glass, the group exhibition RAW, curated by Glenn Adamson at the Museum of Craft and Design in San Francisco, as well as the international survey exhibition New Glass Now at the Corning Museum of Glass, among others. Karin is currently based in Haugesund, Norway




Alessandro Marchi is an Italian artist based in Oslo, Norway. Marchi’s art practice revolves around human modified landscape, identity, inequality, chaos, and public space, especially on how humans constantly negotiate and modify the space they live in. He works experimentally and site specific to create installations, events, artist books, walks, sculptures, carpets, paintings, maps, texts, and audio pieces. Marchi holds an MFA at the Oslo National Academy of the Arts (2020) and an MSC in Mechanical Engineering at the Universitá degli Studi di Bologna (2002). His works have been shown internationally in exhibitions and museums in Italy, Spain, Germany, France, Portugal, Croatia, Norway, the Netherlands, and the UK.



Philipp Spillmann (b. 1977, Zürich, Switzerland) is a graduate in goldsmith from the Schule für Gestaltung in Zürich, but today he works mainly with found materials and has exhibited his art jewellery internationally. Spillmann´s work raises questions on sustainability, consumption culture and ecological impact of industrial waste.

Spillmann has exhibited widely in Norway and abroad, recently participating in exhibitions at Nordnorsk Kunstmuseum, Tromsø, Aotu Space, Beijing, Royal Scottish Academy, Edinburgh and Museum of Contemporary Jewellery, Warsaw. He is represented in the collections of The National Museum of Art, Architecture and Design, Oslo, Nordnorsk Kunstmuseum, Tromsø, and KODE Art Museums and Composer Homes, Bergen.

NEW POSITIONS, 2023 Edition is presented in collaboration with Norwegian Crafts and support from:


College for Creative Studies


and The Cranbrook Academy of Art

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