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MJW Overview 2020: Lo Fi Faces

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. 

In 2004, a 10-year-old grilled cheese sandwich with the image of the Virgin Mary emblazoned on its toasty exterior sold on eBay for $28,000. It was hailed as a sacred object by its accidental creator, a jewellery designer from Florida, who believed that it provided protection and guidance from its Tupperware reliquary.

It is human nature to find forms in the shadows, familiarity in clouds, and faces in the abstract textures of our world. Through tiny clues – movements, outlines, or unexpected sounds – we are confronted by a presence: the suggestion of another being with something to tell us. Perhaps, pareidolia, the ‘incorrect’ perception of meaning within the meaningless, is not so incorrect at all.

Through magic and play, Lo-Fi Faces inspects our world’s hidden characters and the messages they whisper to us in fleeting moments of recognition. The works examine the collection of features we interpret as faces and how the symbolic ‘face’ informs our understanding of the world and our place within it. From the ubiquitous smiley face to more interpretive expressions, Lo-Fi Faces faces our interdependence head on.

postcard Chloé Valorso

How did the concept for 
the exhibition come about? 

The concept for the exhibition started with this simple fact: we see faces everywhere. The pareidolia phenomenon is where we project ourselves to make sense of the world. I believe that’s why we make art too: to make sense of our environment. I wanted to curate an exhibition where pieces look back at you, where you enter a playful liminal space. It’s an exhibition about transformation.

Rachel Ness

What are some of the different approaches the artists are taking to interpreting the concepts of lo-fi faces and pareidolia?

Rachel Ness
is anthropomorphising her surroundings, using everyday objects in her pieces. Amelia Toelke is creating faces from jewellery: rings become eyes, chains become smiles. Kalkidan Hoex is creating her new tribe, mixing masks and street fashion. Georgina Treviño is playing with the smiley face, creating new icons. Lara Orawski is interested in rituals and the human presence. I (Chloé Valorso) am creating amulets in the witching hours of the twenty-first century, mixing organic materials and contemporary culture.

Amelia Toelke Gem Face

How does one display jewellery made of secret faces?


The exhibition will work as a 3D collage in which our works coexist, challenge and merge with each other. For the display I am using a surrealist process: the exquisite cadaver. Playing with jewellery and drawings from all the artists, I am making spirits to make a new poetic horizon. Like Martin Parr said, ‘I am not looking for beauty but for ambiguity’.


Jackie Andrews, Kalkidan Hoex, Rachel Ness, Lara Orawski, Amelia Toelke, Georgina Treviño & Chloé Valorso


Adalbertstraße 44, Munich, Germany

11.03 – 15.03

Disco Opening 11.03 18:00 – 20.00

Thu – Sun 11:00 – 18:00


GEM Z Join the Social Club