“Screw This, The Ornament Game” (EKG 2014)

One of the main problems that I see in
the contemporary jewellery field is the existence of so called
jewellery artists. As such, the framework and intended audience for
the work are set. Many, if not most jewellery pieces in the art field
are confined to a lifespan that is constituted by
workbench-gallery-collection. Since these pieces are often handled in
the same way as fine art and kept in cupboards and vitrines to avoid
damage, they lose some of their jewelleryness.

We are living in a time where the
media specific artist becomes largely more and more irrelevant. The
artist is supposed to be a jack of all trades. Perhaps it would be
better to say that they are supposed to shape ideas in relation to
different means of expression, expertly chosen to give the maximum of
the intended effect. A jewellery artist has, through the power of the
definition become cursed to work within an already established
framework. Most fine art institutions are not interested in jewellery
because of the notion that art jewellery has a unique horizon. There
is no need for art jewellery to be considered a separate discipline.
It would be more accurate to say that it should not be
considered a separate discipline. A goldsmiths’ work is a separate
discipline. Art is art, everything else is everything else, to borrow
the words of Ad Reinhardt. All art is art. There are no disciplines
or separate fields. The illusion that they exist is partly a
simplification made by agoraphobic artists and nearsighted theorists.
There is no natural line that divides art works from each other, only
socially constructed scenes. The jewellery art field has become
introverted and then complains when it is not integrated into the
larger art scene. The jewellery practice attracts a lot of interested
practitioners that tend to stay within the comfortable confines of
the field, communicating mainly inside the internally established
lingo.

The
thing is that jewellery, when used for its’ unique qualities, can
reach a social scene that other artistic expressions may have trouble
reaching. The wearability and circumstantial flexibility that
jewellery possesses gives it a special useability in social situations
where it can directly influence its’ social context. Being worn, it
can raise deeply rooted questions and comment on the physicality of
the human body and its place in the world. As a direct, portable
means of personal expressions it can be used to influence others. It
can be a steady reminder for the wearer or a spectator about personal
or societal situations. Jewellery can be so much more than material
excursions, expertly crafted curiosities or a decoration, never to
actually be worn.