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MJW Overview 2020: Jewellery not Jewellery

For this year’s Munich Jewellery Week, we are looking back on the past five fabulous years of MJW with 20/20 vision. In the years that Current Obsession has been a part of this celebration of contemporary jewellery’s diverse perspectives, we have come to know and love so many of you – not only for your forever-fascinating art, but also for the spark that each member of this international community brings to the table. We hold every venue, artist, instigator and jewel close to our hearts. This year, in an effort to dive a little deeper into the stories behind the shows, we are sharing some of the shows that we think exemplify this year’s thrilling MJW line-up, alongside a few mini-tidbits from the curators and artists that are making them happen. Here’s to all of you! And to the next 5, 10, and 100 years of Munich Jewellery Week.

Are my glasses the right prescription? Because the boundary between art and jewellery is looking mighty blurry! 

Jewellery-not-Jewellery invites 25 multi-disciplinary artists to traverse (and destroy) the boundaries between jewellery, sculpture, performance and so-called ‘fine art’. After all, what is the act of wearing jewellery, if not performance art? What is a jewel, if not a tiny sculpture to decorate the temple that is the body? Some have created art pieces out of jewellery; others, art pieces about jewellery; and still others, jewellery as art pieces. This exhibition opens up a broader conversation about how we define jewellery in an art context. We continued this conversation with the instigator of Jewellery-not-Jewellery, Katie Britchford. 

Barbara Herold Diamond + Pearl (FAUST), 2018, HD Video, size variable, 27 s loop @barb.herold
Florain Rautenberg Age of Centuries, 2020, various materials, 50x50x5 cm


What are the intentions of the exhibition, and how does the selection of artists reflect the stated interdisciplinarity? 

It is my intention with the exhibition to open up a dialogue between contemporary jewellery and fine art. To bridge the gap a little and view the idea of ‘jewellery as concept’ rather than just addressing jewellery via different mediums. This is done in many ways: through video, performance, painting, drawing, text, sculpture and objects. Doing this, I believe, encourages a different discourse around what jewellery means for our society and how the concept of jewellery is viewed through the eyes of non-jewellery contemporary artists. 

Florian Haller Goldener Finger EG, 2020, Acrylic, Vinyl, 50x40 cm @floriantobiashaller

Could you talk about how the work is going to be presented and why? 

The two galleries where the work will be presented will act as treasure rooms, filled to the brim with each artist’s own unique interpretation of what jewellery is. Twenty-five artists have approached the topic from their own perspectives and material practices. As a kind of wunderkammer if you will, the chaotic installation will represent a broad interdisciplinary approach that gives the viewer a refreshing perspective. 


Why do you think it’s important to discuss contemporary jewellery in a fine art context? 

Jewellery is contemporary and part of the art scene, so it is important to have a conversation about it, or to at least include it as part of the conversation. For me though, it is also important to broaden this conversation beyond being just about material and the processes of making jewellery and to also ask conceptual questions about why jewellery exists and how it exists in our society. There are other artists in the art world making jewellery or art about jewellery that never seems to filter into the ‘contemporary jewellery scene’. It is my hope that through this exhibition a new conversation can begin and ideas and concepts can be expanded. 

Sophia Mainka Gartenarbeit, 2019, plant foam, mixed-media, dimensions variable 15x20x10 cm @sophiamanila
Wolfgang Stehle Horeb, 2012, Video, 2 s loop 

Why do you think it’s important to show your work during MJW? 


I think MJW is a perfect opportunity to show this exhibition. It has the ability to open up a conversation about what jewellery is and can be from a different perspective. And also, it will be a great break in the program away from the typical exhibitions you see during MJW. 

Ivo Rick slide on (bluem), 2019, Water jet-cut and powder-coated steel, varnish, neoprene, 30x18x2,3 cm @ivorick

This article was published in the online edition of Munich Jewellery Week 2020



Galerie von Empfangshalle + T156 

Theresienstraße 154-156, Munich, Germany 

Opening 09.03 19:00, Performance at 20:00 by Kyrill Constantinides Tank. 

Followed by DJ Diamond Dust playing some schmuck tunes for your bedazzled ears. 

Tue-Sun 10:00-18:00 

Finissage with open critique: 15.03, 16:00 


GEM Z Join the Social Club