Skip to Content Skip to Search Go to Top Navigation Go to Side Menu


"rebellious" Tag


Rebellious jewellery


Wednesday, March 1, 2017

Marble that looks like concrete, oxidized silver casts and penetrated diamonds – the jeweler and artist Karl Fritsch plays with the use of material and with the common perception of jewellery. By using different techniques, he challenges his profession’s tradition and the notion of value.
What makes a ring valuable? How does it need to look and feel to be wearable? Having these questions in mind, Karl Fritsch interprets jewellery-making in a new way through unusual combinations of different material. For example, in contrast to the process of marbleizing, where artists try to paint a surface that looks as close to real marble as possible and even go to special schools to learn the techniques of painting faux marble, Fritsch doesn’t want to achieve a look that is familiar to our eyes. Instead, he works with real marble and leaves it in its raw state.

fritsch1

Karl Fritsch, RING 2008 coll. Stedelijk Museum

The Stedelijk Museum in Amsterdam displays five rings and one brooch of Fritsch that perfectly illustrate his unconventional approach. One striking piece is a ring made out of silver, sapphire, quartz and marble. On first glance, the materials used seem crude; however, when you look closer, you notice the materials are actually real marble and precious stones. Fritsch plays with conventional ideas of what a material should be in the jewellery world. When we look at high end jewellery we tend to expect perfect finishes and nicely polished stones with smooth surfaces. However, the marble of the piece seems more like concrete and the silver doesn’t have a shiny but dark surface due to the oxidation.

fritsch111995.1.0228

Karl Fritsch, RING 2003 and BROOCH 1994 coll. Stedelijk Museum

Karl Fritsch is known for his unique working methods and techniques, ignoring social conventions and traditional standards. Precious stones like diamonds are usually finished in a specific way. The treatment of the surface – the special cutting and sanding of the material give diamonds their value. Nobody would dare to ‘destroy’ the surface since the gemstone would instantly lose its value. However, Fritsch does exactly that – he penetrates diamonds, sapphires and other precious stones. By ‘destroying’ the value through damaging the surface Karl Fritsch is able to give the pieces another layer of value. His pieces are unique and blur the line between common conventions of jewellery-making and fine arts. His former professor Otto Künzli described his rebellious works “as if [he] repaired the broken ring[s] with a golden chewing gum”. His interpretation of jewellery turn rings and brooches into wearable pieces of art

The Rebellious Anti-Catalogue


Wednesday, February 8, 2017

 

 

Wie die Räume gefüllt werden müssen

How the space needs to be filled

 

 

Front cover

This thin book with its soft flappy cover gave me a sense of preciousness.
It needed two hands to hold, it urged for my attention.
The white lp-size cover, its simple black typography yet incomplete
title made it mysterious. It sought more effort than a
quick look to discover the meaning.

LP-sized cover

Front and back cover

Flipping through the pages I was completely
surprised and somewhat confused as more and
more empty pages revealed themselves.

Beginning the book with white pages

Then eventually three huge images of an installation appeared. I would probably not have looked at them with as much care and appreciation
as I did, if it was surrounded by visual or written information.
The silent white pages that led up to these images made them
more valuable. The emptiness was key to this aura of worthiness.

1st image installation Aernout Mik

2nd image installation Aernout Mik

3rd image installation Aernout Mik

A fourth smaller image appeared after a few empty pages.

4th image installation Aernout Mik

The series of images started and ended with a white bar, suggesting a
beginning and an end of the empty space.

Transition emptiness to 1st image

Transition 4th image to emptiness

Than the catalogue ends with emptiness.

The last image disappears in white emptiness

Ending the book with white pages

In The Elements of Graphic Design [x], Alex W. White explains the functionality of emptiness in graphic design:

”Emptiness is silence, an open field, a barren room, a blank canvas, an empty page. Emptiness is often taken for granted
and thought best used by filling in. It is generally ignored by all but the few who consciously manipulate it to establish
contrast, to create drama, or to provide a place of actual or visual rest.”

The emptiness creating visual rest and drama are actually
simultaneously existing in this book. One would think
drama and visual rest would not be ableto co-exist.
The impatient ongoing episode of flipping white pages,
the dramatic surprise of a sudden huge image and then
the visual rest to read the image with great care.

Pjotr de Jong, the designer [x] and a dear friend of Aernout Mik [x],
shed some light on the being of this book. It all started with an
exhibition in Hannover. Aernout Mik had won the Preis des
Kunstverein Hannover 1995 alongside two German artists,
Bernhard Büttner and Michael Stephan.

The three artists were given a space in which
they were able to show their art. The German
artists asked the director ‘how the space had to be filled’.
Aernout [x] was astonished by this question and made it
clear that no one but himself would decide on how his
space was going to be. He took this German question
and used it to title his work.

He [x] was asked to make a catalogue for this
exhibition and this book is the result of that.
He rebelliously decided to make
the ultimate anti-catalogue. Bare emptiness
was in a similar style to his exhibition space,
the dominant theme.

Pjotr and Aernout spent their whole budget on
the most expensive synthetic paper available.
They maximized the size of the images and printed
them on full pages. Pjotr stated that the images
were badly printed because of the synthetic paper.
In my opinion they added to the mystery of the book.

This probably is the least informative catalogue ever made,
yet it’s the most memorable one I ever came across.

Aernout Mik : Wie die Räume gefüllt werden müssen. /Rietveld library catalogue no : mik 6


Log in
subscribe