LAWRENCE WEINER OPENING AT BASE PROGETTI PER L’ARTE, FIRENZE 2.18.2012
(UPDATED) I don’t like to brag, but for one lovely evening, Lawrence Weiner and I were best friends. I never really expected to go around barking about jewelry to a man like this, but he was mildly enthusiastic about what it is that I do after only just a tiny bit of schmoozing. Looking back, this night for me was kind of a game changer in a way for my research, as I had to continuously introduce myself and my interests to a bunch of people only really interested in contemporary art, which was exhausting. Honestly from that point on, my research thus shifted to the ways in which we talk about contemporary jewelry, and how to represent it as a related field worthy of interest to people that attend Lawrence Weiner openings, instead of something superficial only hovering far below. Although quite the task at times (as it really takes about an hour to do a thorough enough job of explaining so that the other person sort of gets what I mean, but instead only having about five minutes of small talk to do the job if you’re lucky), speaking to Lawrence about it was a delight. He’s the most seasoned of veterans of conceptual art, and if explained in the right way, contemporary jewelry can be nothing but conceptual. Here’s a quote from him that explains how he views what he does: I have attempted to devote the majority of my adult life to placing work within structures where they would function irregardless of what culture they found themselves in. HEY EVERYONE! THIS CAN ALSO BE SAID ABOUT JEWELRY.
Let’s try something.
“____________ is something that’s looking for a place and banging against the walls and that’s what you think of in terms of shaking things up, It’s just looking for someplace to be. Once it finds that place, it’s no longer ____________, it’s some thing, it’s culture.”
Is this quote about art or jewelry?
Lawrence also said that about art, yet notice that the words art and jewelry are entirely interchangeable. If they each function on the same basic level and can be spoken about in similar manners, could it mean that perhaps they could be considered as the same thing?? COULD IT? No, not all the time of course, but perhaps it’s at least worth the thought, a nice exercise if you will.
That night the two of us chatted a bit about the interference to daily life sculpture or objects can have when they are created to do just that; his work obviously functions on a much larger scale while jewelry functions much more subtly, yet they both speak of the now similarly, the confrontations each create reflecting one another. When thinking about the idea of the encounter, jewelry needs this to function, for it to truly live, so does conceptual work like Weiner’s. I tried to explain this to him, how I felt that objects or jewelry could be the physical manifestations of the same textual, emotional confrontations that artists like him put forth (how I feel that my field relates to his work in particular) and he was really receptive.
If I were any good at writing narratively, I’d now digress and tell you about the dinner a group of us went to after the opening and as we were gathering around the table, Maurizio Nannucci (super amazing artist himself/ one of the runners of Base/a dear neighbor and friend) held up a round, shiny copper dinner plate behind Mr. Wiener’s head and called him San Lorenzo. It was a superb moment.
click —–> here for a link to the TateShotes NYC video where I pulled the quotes.