Museum of Arts and Design of new York (MAD) – (New York City) - 13-Oct-2010 – 08-Jan-2011
Think Twice: New Latin American Jewelry Showcases Contemporary Jewelry From The Region For The First Time In a U.S. Museum
« Think Twice: New Latin American Jewelry, presented by the Museum of Arts and Design from October 12, 2010 through January 8, 2011, will feature unique work by nearly 60 jewelry makers, representing over 20 Latin American countries. Among the artists included are the Brazilians Mirla Fernandes, Dionea Rocha Watt, and Claudia Cucchi; Valentina Rosenthal and Walka Studio from Chile; the Argentinians Elisa Gulminelli, Francisca Kweitel, and Silvina Romero; Jorge Manilla, Martacarmela Sotelo and Eduardo Graue from Mexico; and Miguel Luciano from Puerto Rico.
The show has been guest-curated by the Netherlands-based, Mexican-born architect and historian Valeria Vallarta Siemelink.
Objects of adornment have played a significant cultural role throughout Latin America’s history, from the spiritually potent jewelry of the pre-Columbians to the eye-catching ornaments worn by Mexican drug gangs to advertise their status and menace. Now a new generation of jewelry makers working outside the field’s conventions are examining how this complex relationship with physical adornment evolved–and why.
Think Twice aims to bring the audience a clear picture of the landscape of contemporary jewellery in Latin America and its development in the last 10 years, showing the way in which visual artists and jewellery makers born or living in Latin America view and relate, through jewellery, to such a vast and diverse continent.
The exhibition, conceived by Otro Diseño, is born out of a passion for jewellery as a medium of personal and cultural expression and of the conviction that the fresh, intense and highly creative work of Latin American jewellery makers outstandingly represents and nurtures the culture they live in and therefore greatly enriches and diversifies the international landscape of contemporary jewellery.
“The new Latin American jewelry must be appreciated for what it is. One shouldn’t impose stereotypes or resort to clichés,” says guest-curator Valeria Vallarta Siemelink. “Far from being an imported concept from the West, jewelry-as-art in Latin America is very much a product of the region’s history and its diverse and dynamic modern societies.”
“This is a very special show,” adds Ursula Neuman, MAD’s jewelry curator. “This jewelry is virtually unknown in the United States. The artists’ realize their sophisticated concepts through intriguing choices of materials and techniques, creating unique works that present a fascinating amalgam of indigenous cultural elements and the latest trends in international contemporary jewelry design.
” To bring clarity to Latin America’s complex culture and history, the exhibition is organized around three themes, addressing the region’s past, its unique fusion of ethnic influences, and its ever-changing socio-political realities.
History, Memory, Tradition
The tension between tradition and modernity is crucial to Latin American history. Heritage and memory, both personal and collective, are among the subjects expressed by these artists through pre-Columbian and colonial jewelry methods and traditional craft techniques. Take the Colombian Mariana Shuk. She has made a series of rings using traditional ring shanks ordered from mega-jewelry suppliers. She creates a ring by interlacing two identical shanks. Its shape determines which techniques—stone setting, enameling, filigree—she will employ to customize it in the Colombian colonial style. The process has produced a perplexing assortment of rings that confronts past and present, value and insignificance. By contrast, another Columbian artist, Linda Sanchez, creates her jewelry pieces by employing weaving techniques that have been used by an Amazonian tribe since ancient times.
A Flair for Invention
The artists in this section are some of the boldest jewelry makers anywhere. Skilled at improvisation, they make brilliant use of a rich variety of native materials along with such everyday objects as balloons and drawer handles. A spontaneous attitude and a contrary vision are central to their daring approach. The Mexican Andres Quiñones can make an exquisite choker from sticks of bamboo, a few broken guitar strings, a handful of freshwater pearls and silver wire, all of the materials collected from garbage dumpsters in Mexico City. Colombian Helena Biermann presents Hit the Road, a series of brooches that collect the insects stuck to a car in its 286 km trip from Munchen, Germany to Domaslav, Czech Republic.
Forging Identity: Latin America as a Source of Inspiration
These jewelry makers are creating an individualistic language, expressive of who they are and where they come from. Art, religion, money, violence, tradition, family, gender are among the themes that define their lives, uniting their collective and individual identities. Foreign-born artists, who are somehow bound up with Latin America or have had a profound impact upon it, are included in this section. Alcides Fortes, for example, was born in Cape Verde, trained as a gold and silversmith in the Netherlands, and today lives and works in Mexico. He specializes in politically charged jewelry, creating such works as a necklace made out of the porcelain portraits recovered from the graves of a family killed in the Mexican revolution. The piece reveals both an admiration for Mexico’s culture and history as well as a loathing of its corruption, economic disparities, and veiled racism. By transforming the common objects of his native land into fetishized commodities, Miguel Luciano examines how American consumerism has affected Puerto Rican culture. Plantainum, for example, is a series of necklaces and pendants featuring a platinum-covered plantain. The shell is seductive and pristine, but underneath the fruit is rotting.
Figurative and abstract, conceptual and symbolic, traditional and experimental, contemporary Latin American jewelry is tremendously varied, and it is this diversity that enables it to communicate its ethnicity and to transcend it. » (Klimt02)
Mirla Fernandes (Brasil),Kehisha Castello, Helena Biermann (Col.), Tota Reciclados (Arg.), Udi Lagallina (Bresil), Martacarmela Sotelo (Mex.), Kika Alvarenga (Brasil), Silvina Romero (Arg.), Elisa Gulminelli (Arg.), Zinna Rudman, Célio Braga, Martha Camargo, Maria Paula Amezcua, Magali Anidjar (Arg.), Walka Studio (Chile), Mauricio Lara, Gabriela Horvat (Arg.), Jorge Castañón, Nilton Cunha, Jimena Rios, Thelma Aviani, Alcides Fortes (Cape verde), Samantha Fung, Alex Bourttiea, Marie Pendaries, Renata Porto, Martha Hryc, Teresa Margolles, Paula Isola, Beate Eismann, Aurelie Dellasanta (CH), Giselle Morales, Fiorenza Coredro, Francisca Kweitel (Arg.), Alina López, Ana Paula Campos, Dionea Rocha Watt (Brasil), Eduardo Graue (Mex.), Mariana Shuk (Col.), Stella Bierrenbach, Hugo Celi, Luis Acosta, Isel Mendoza, Dani Soter, Linda Sánchez (Col.), Andrés Fonseca, Ana Videla, Alex Burke, Benjamin Lignel, Alejandra Agusti, Lucia Abdenur, Claudia Cucchi (Brasil), Chequita Nahar, Ariel Kuipfer, Ximena Briceno, Julieta Odio, Guigui Kohon (Esp.), Nuria Carulla, Santiago Ayala, Carlos Martiel, Jorge Manilla(Mex.).
Silvina Romero (Argentina)
Mirla Fernandes (Brasil) – necklace
Celio Braga, Brazil
Aurelie Dellasanta – ‘suicide brooch’ 2007 painted metal, gilded metal, paper
Francisca Kweitel (Arg.)
Guigui Kohon -’Basura de joyería’ – Jewelry waste 2010
Chequita Nahar Lontai – brooch, 2010, oak, porcelain, string
Kika Alvarenga (Bresil)
Jorge Manilla – ‘Palabras’
Jorge Manilla – necklace ‘de votos y ex-votos’
Dionea Rocha Watt (Brazil) – ‘Vanitas’ – image made with silver dust
Claudia Cucchi (Brazil) – Brooch- Untitled 2005 – Silk, perspex, nylon, emerald
Elisa Gulminelli (Argentina)
Udi Lagallina (Brasil) – brooch
Gabriela Horvat, Sin titulo necklace 2009
Jorge Castañon, Dos cuencos brooch – nickel silver and wood
Martacarmela Sotelo (Mex.) – collares linea ropa- proceso lineas ropa mezclilla roja
Marta Hryc- Aplastada – Plata, algodon. 2009
TotaReciclados (Arg) (Marcela Muñiz + Valeria Hasse)
Museum of Arts and Design of New York (MAD)
2 Columbus Circle (59th Street and Broadway)
NY 10019 – New York City