Well, not exactly. The following is… let’s say, an unofficial “edit” of a selection of excerpts from Nicolas Bourriaud’s writings on Relational Aesthetics. Although from 1998 (the english version of the book was published in 2002), the text is actually quite relevant to work in contemporary jewelry. It’s almost as if one could replace most references to “visual art” or “contemporary art”-or really just “art”- with the word jewelry… and that’s exactly what I did.
I will note that when I use the word jewelry (I apologize if this is redundant), I am speaking to “our kind” of jewelry, contemporary art jewelry, as stated by Marjan Unger in her text and talk presented at the Pinakothek der Moderne, Munich, during Schmuck. Click —> here for that full text. It’s quite interesting in comparison to Bourriaud; I would argue that the two are talking about the same thing, yet the problem remains that no one in the jewelry world has been willing to make these kind of comparisons (I would love to know if I am falsely stating). I would say that Unger talks about jewelry as relational aesthetics, yet can’t seem to just say so. Her text also ends on a somewhat disappointing note, as she suddenly steers far clear of vocabulary associated with the art world and simply resting on design and the history of jewelry. Am I alone in the search for a bridge off the island that is “our kind” of jewelry, to a bigger and wilder place like contemporary visual art? Most artists really could be on their way yet fall short in the framing/formalization of their work. START GIVING YOURSELVES SOME MORE CREDIT, YOU’RE ACTUALLY MAKING WORK THAT CAN BE DESCRIBED LIKE THIS: