12 thoughts on Schmuck from the perspective of the teaching staff
1. “Bucks ‘N Barter” was our favorite exhibition this year. It contained an urgency of relating to current situations in the society that made it relevant and strong as a collection of different artistic positions, which is something we often missed in other shows. Great work.
2. The Party – again this year Fredrik became the title of being the “night professor” of Ädellab – meaning representing the teaching staff in all party stuff – and Henrik volunteered as support. The rumors confirm that they did a great job!
3. Friday the 8th was international Women’s Day, so we chose to examine the current Schmuck presentations from this perspective. Sadly but not to our surprise most presentations and in particular most catalogues do in no way relate to the subject of gender issues. Why is it, that the jewellery scene seem so resistant to relate to issues of great relevance for the rest of the world?
4. Otto Künzli presented a very impressive retrospective in the pinakothek called “The Exhibition”. Not only do the pieces reflect a lifetime’s experience and discourse on jewellery, they also reflect an artistic approach of making absolutely no compromises. As Fredrik expressed it; if it has to be gold it is gold – no matter the consequences! Or according to Damian Skinner: “Otto Kunzli’s exhibition at Die Neue Sammlung was an opportunity to come face to face with a body of jewellery that has been incredibly influential in defining what contemporary jewellery is – and can be. It was, among other things, a lesson in total commitment and rigour. Kunzli’s exhibition showed that the quality of his work comes from how hard he pushes his ideas, never stopping until all aspects of the piece have been resolved.”
5. Royal College in London were given the opportunity to present themselves this year at the Pinakothek. Since the building is closed for renovation the assignment were rather difficult, but the program developed an innovative concept of presenting on the trees – so to speak – surrounding Otto’s exhibition with a big pearl necklace of student’s work. Great idea, but in our opinion the presentation suffered from a lack of care in the details, since the artistic work seemed more to be fillings than the purpose of the presentation.
6. Again this year Schmuck gave us the opportunity to meeting former students. Dana, Hannah, Sylvia, Nicolas, Beatrice and many more, came and exhibited their work. And great work it was! Talking with them made us feel proud of what we do at Ädellab, and many of them expresses happiness with the education they received. Maybe this can give hope to the students – current struggling with us – too?
7. Warwich Freeman gave a wonderful lecture about his work on Sunday morning. His work is impressive, tender and beautiful, but for us the main quality was to understand how much his jewellery is relating to the given surrounding situations in which it was created. His work relates to the culture in which he lives and by doing so it is also addresses universal aspects such as artistic work’s role in the society.
8. We had dinner with Damian Skinner and as often we had great inspiring discussions about the contemporary field of jewellery. Damian challenge us to think and re-think positions in a very fruitful way. His knowledge about the field but also his position as “jewellery-reflector-enfant terrible” is very appreciated by the staff at Ädellab!
9. Karen spend the Friday afternoon in the jury of the Talente-price. This year none of the former Ädellab students had been accepted to the exhibition and therefore there were also no prices for “Ädellabbers” to fight for. What a sad situation! In the past years several former students got prices, such as Amba, Beatrice, Nadine (just to mention some). Either few applied, or the Talente selection was made badly this year, we do not know the reasons. Talente is however a very good opportunity for you to show your work and as long as Karen is willing to engage in the price-jury work, who knows what you could get out of it?
10. Helena Lehtinen from Finland won one of the three Herbert-Hofmann-prices at Schmuck. What a great choice of the jury! We very much cherish Helena, not only as a friend and former colleaque at Ädellab but also as an amazing, authentic artist.
11. It was interesting to reflect on Schmuck and the role it has become within the field. Clearly Schmuck is currently the most important international event for artistic jewellery and we appreciate the many opportunities it offers; seeing exhibitions and meeting artists, students, collectors and gallery-owners from all over the world. We do however find it important to look at Schmuck also with a critical eye. Schmuck is an internal celebration of contemporary jewellery, which is ok, but it is also confirming a particular movement or jewellery approach, which will not support the coming generations of artist very well. It is however crucial to come here, but please be critical!
12. We teachers went early to the fair on Saturday morning (tough for Fredrik) in order for us to look at the selected work for Schmuck before the masses appear. As in the later years each of us choose a piece we found particularly strong or particularly disappointing to present to the rest of the group. Our discussions are done in Swedish (tough for Karen) to secure some privacy, but here is our list of chosen work: Fredrik: Melanie Bilenke, Tobias: Sally Marsland, Miro: Nanna Melland, Karen: Luzia Vogt, Henrik: Yeonkyung Kim. So check out the work and make up you own opinion!