'Everyone out there has something that they’re extremely attracted to that also repulses them, and I would hope they approach that obliquely at first, but go into the fire.
When you’re looking for love in all the wrong places, when you’re looking for love, say, in too many faces, you’re actually attracted and repulsed at the same time, and that’s not a dilemma, it’s a way of being.'
– Adam Zaretsky
– weeklong jewellery festival by Current Obsession
For five years, Current Obsession has been bringing you something new, something you didn’t know you wanted. You could even call us rebellious – always trying to create different ways to experience jewellery. By publishing magazines and papers and by organising our own events and exhibitions, we wrote our own rules.
This year, we break them.
For Munich Jewellery Week 2018, you will not find the Current Obsession Paper to which you may have been accustomed in previous years, oh no. Instead, we give you a programme: based on an open call we released last year, this is an experimental series of events for artists, by artists that do and seek something else. Being one of them ourselves, Current Obsession has always celebrated those who go outside the lines. So in the spirit of rebellion and in celebration during contemporary jewellery’s most exciting time of year, we are happy to introduce a new, weeklong jewellery festival: DOING THE NO NO.
DOING THE NO NO deals with the ideas of the unconventional, the unaccepted and the ambiguous. It delves into the economy between attraction and repulsion, and the uncharted area of ambiguity, inhabited by the ideas beyond the boundaries of what is considered ethical or aesthetical, taboo or kink.
A word to describe the double bind between attraction and repulsion doesn’t exist. As a jewellery magazine and platform, we would like to define or invent that word, and to explore the different aspects this theme touches upon, always coming back to the field of jewellery.
Every day for seven days at The Lovelace Hotel Happening,Kardinal-Faulhaber-Straße 1, new events will take place. From the relaxed Monday Movie Night, Tuesday’s Students Salon, Wednesday Theory Day, Thursday Jewellery Dinner, Friday Fotocopy and CO Birthday Party, to Saturday’s Performance and finally, Sunday’s Brunch – we will make sure you will love them all.
See the complete list of events below. We can’t wait to see you there and celebrate together!
AT THE STILL POINT
Performance by Silke Fleischer in on of The Lovelace Hotel rooms.
A few years ago during a trip to Japan, Fleischer experienced the art of shibari: the Japanese art of rope bonding, its aesthetics and technical aspects. Religious ceremonies in Japan involve ropes and ties to symbolise connections among people and the divine, as well as to delineate sacred spaces and times. Everyday life is also somehow tied together; think of the Kimono, which has neither buttons nor hooks, but instead is closed by ritually tying long strips of fabric around the body.
Whilst working with silver chains and ropes Fleischer’s research went into directions of free movement and restricted movement. During the festival Doing the No No worked with ropes, eight meter lengths of two-ply black jute combined with knots, silver, hematite and broidery as a study material. She investigates the moment through movement and at the same time the restrictions these mediums offer. The artist is thinking of the bindings less as rope and more as sculpture, body, space, landscape, marks, and of the experience as a proces of ‘being tied’ rather than just of wearing.
DOING THE THEORY
Curated by Norwegian Crafts.
When viewing contemporary jewellery as art, we face a major challenge that effects how we write about it, talk about it and show it: Should jewellery be treated, viewed and presented as sculpture in galleries, or as wearable objects?
We say neither and both!
It is no secret that Modern Western aesthetics, which is the philosophical grounding for discussing art history, fine art and contemporary art, is based on the writings of Immanuel Kant and the legacy of his theory about a disinterested viewer who sees works of fine art as devoid of utilitarian purpose.*
When applying this aesthetic philosophy to jewellery, a problem arises because these objects are situated in everyday life. They are entangled with use, wearability and ornamentation and serve as signifiers in public space outside the art context; they resist being perceived as autonomous art objects.
During Munich Jewellery Week, we see a number of jewellery practises dealing with and trying to push the boundaries between jewellery and art. Some of these adapt strategies from different forms of contemporary art to activate the jewellery objects as carriers of philosophical meaning; others find paths that commit equally to jewellery and art. We suggest that the problem is not that jewellery is not art (because it is), but that when seeking to place jewellery within a contemporary art discourse, the discussions are founded on an aesthetic that alienates or renders obsolete the wearability and social aspects of jewellery
Ahmad Umar is a cross-disciplinary artist who came to Norway in 2008 as a political refugee. His practice is strongly influenced by the themes of his upbringing and his experiences of living in a society structured by religion. His works recreate a narrative of his own life story utilising various techniques such as sculpture, printmaking, painting and performance. In his attempt to resolve the contradictions of living in a distant and secular place, Umar mobilises these methods to explore the complex relationship between identity, authority, sexuality, depression and art. His work is charged with social critique, a sense of directness, Arabic calligraphy and a hint of his Nubian visual heritage. They reflect his memories and signal a long process of self-understanding and acceptance.
Jorge Manilla investigates his environment – religion, emotions, relationships and the meaning of life.
Over the last years the artist has rediscovered his love for the black colour. To the artist black relates to something hidden, the secretive and the unknown, and as a result it creates an air of mystery. It keeps things bottled up inside, hidden from the world. His dark forms and shapes create a barrier between the meanings of the objects and the outside world. Black implies self-control and discipline, independence and a strong will. It gives an impression of authority and power. For Manilla black is the end, but the end always implies a new beginning. When light appears, black becomes white, the color of new beginnings.
On Thursday evening we invited the public to witness The Jewelry Dinner, a phenomenal project first initiated by jewellers Mia Maljojoki and Annika Pettersson in 2016. The aim for the project was to create a jewellery exhibition with multiple layers of information relating to jewellery.
The dinner is an event where everything is set on display: a group a people gets invited to have a dinner, during which the guests are asked to wear contemporary jewellery and discuss a specific topic. The dinner event itself is takes part in a public space and is seen as a performance.
Annika and Mia have created a new series of jewellery that wias displayed during the Dinner #5 during MJW 2018. The two artists have their own way of relating to the theme of DOING THE NO NO: one focusing on the process of copying, and the other focusing on the idea of beauty. Each diner guest was assigned a specially selected jewellery piece created for this project that they wore while they dined.
The Dinner is seen as a performance act, where the guests are set on display for the duration of a three-course meal. The reformative act is key point in this this project; it making the guests conscious of their movements, their actions while adding awareness to the dining act.
During the Dinner, one subject is explored and examined from different perspectives.
The guests have been specifically selected to represent a diverse group of professionals from various fields. By having an interdisciplinary group we could explore the act of wearing and performing from different perspectives. The jewellery pieces that are worn during the dinner can bee seen as conversation starters and as a physical representation of the theme.
FOTOCOPY, a ONE DAY ONLY pop-up marathon zine-making copy shop/jewelry store front by Kellie Riggs and Adam Grinovich. Visitors were invited to “hang and question realness, narcissism, the origin of ideas, sleeper cell trends, reference culture, authenticity, appropriation, ownership, derivatives, tropes, and throwbacks – and buy some jewels, zines and t-shirts!”