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Artist, Nanna Melland was part of the main Schmuck 2013 exhibition with her work, Swarm, the very first piece ever in Schmuck’s history to be showcased OUTSIDE the plexi-glass case. This is a huge accomplishment, really, and after chatting briefly with the artist about how it came to be, it sounds like it was an up hill battle. If you’ve read previous posts of mine you should know that I tend to loathe work that is restricted behind display cases, and so let’s hope Nanna’s victory set a new precedent for future Schmuck exhibitions, acknowledging that some work deserves a little breathing room and a chance to really connect with its viewers like it’s destined to. The work’s freedom was imperative to its success, as each little aluminum airplane dangling from the wall was up for grabs, an honor system money box sitting beside (or as a part of) the installation.

As the week crawled by in Munich, it was quite touching to see all the people who picked one up, wearing them on their sweaters, each person perhaps from a different city, a different country, all converging at this event. I’d say that Nanna’s work was this year’s glue, really something to remember as it was quite attractive and easy to take one piece home and to feel a part of something bigger (even I bought one, the prices ranged from 10 euro up to 50). It was really something to be appreciated by everyone. Swarm speaks beautifully about the power of jewelry and its potential to map and unite in a way that other art genres are quite frankly, incapable of, at least this intimately. The strength of its singularity is also worth mentioning, as I would say the work of many other artists in our field rely on trying to bolster a piece by placing it among the company of many others quite similar. This piece on the other hand, speaks for its complete self. 

Nanna Mellond

flight plan

Nanna and Aaron
Nanna and AaronAbove are some images of the piece, as well as Nanna pinning my friend Aaron with his newly acquired airplane.

I would say that the work echoes a more open (and much needed) consideration of what contemporary jewelry is and will continue to be, beyond the rigidness of existing definitions or assumptions. To go along with that thought, below is a bit taken from an interview with the artist conducted by Aaron Decker (above), researcher/writer/jeweler, that was originally posted on AJF in September of last year. 

How would you define contemporary jewelry?

I guess its like boxes in a cupboard. People usually tend to think of it as one box, jewels as jewels, but today I think we’re past that. There are so many artists working in so many different ways, that to put everyone into one box is not helpful anymore. On the other hand, there is also fashion, trends and the time you’re living in. Each and every individual is unintentionally a part of a trend. We have streams of expressions, periods of time where change occurs and this one cannot see before some time has passed. I think we need jewelry categories in contemporary jewelry. Now there seems to be some confusion. Sometimes confusion is good, but order brings clarity.  If contemporary jewelry was more organized I think it would be easier to see more people out there and not just the few who are famous and are representing our so-called contemporary jewelry scene. It is an incredibly difficult question to answer, which I believe and trust the art historians to answer.

To see the full interview, please click ——-> HERE

Swarm was previously exhibited at Galerie Spektrum in Munich, as well as the Deichmanske Bibliotek, or the main library in Oslo, Norway, among other places and started as a site specific installation.

For more information about Melland and this piece, read —-> THIS by Norwegian Crafts Magazine

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Have you seen the new Current Obsession Magazine yet? It’s basically the very first of its kind!!!!!!!!

CO originally existed as a blog about contemporary jewelry and then a website (promoting the field through the voices of the artists) created by the talented, Marina Elenskaya (artist and editor in chief of the magazine). And as of March 2013, CO now also exists as a bi-annual printed magazine that debuted at this year’s Schmuck. Marina and Sarah Mesritz (the creative director of the mag) launched the first issue, The Archetypein Munich, which was really exciting for me because they invited me to be a contributing writer/editor for the issue.

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Here I am at Schmuck after having my first look inside the magazine. It’s the first time i’ve been published, and in the photo above, the page is opened to my introduction and interview with Karl Fritsch. The segment shows new pieces by the artist that were also exhibited at two Schmuck exhibitions.

Click —–> here for a peak inside.

I also had the pleasure of working with Alexander Blank on another interview about his new series, also exhibited at Schmuck.

Alexander Blank, King of my Blues exhibition

The CO team also asked me to help them create a guide for all the Schmuck events this year to help visitors navigate the city. After having contacted every artist or organizer for all the collateral Schmuck exhibition (for photos and information regarding their event), we tried to create a descriptive teaser, basically CO’s Schmuck 2013 picks, highlighting various initiatives we thought were worth seeing. To see the PDF, click —-> here

from CO Facebook page

Below are some photos of Marina and Sarah giving a presentation at the Messe, where the main Schmuck show was situated.

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To learn more about the wonderful backpack and suitcase by the design team Hanemaai shown above, click —> here!

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Above, Volker Atrops giving some critical feedback to the team, which you should feel free to do also! We are always looking for comments and are eager to hear what you think.

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Marina and contributing editor/husband, Chris van der Kaap at the show, Schmuck You, presented by Galerie Biró Junior and featuring the work of Réka Lorincz and Flora Vági.

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Super babes Marina with artist and friend, Suzanne Beautyman 

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Sarah Mestriz toting around the mag and the guide at the Pinakothek der Moderne.

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Below is artist/researcher/writer, Aaron Decker, another contributing editor of the CO magazine.

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from CO Facebook page

Some team shots, below with superstar, Tanel Veenre

from CO Facebook page

CURRENT OBSESSION 
– is a new printed magazine about jewellery and its relation to different fields of art — performance, illustration, photography, etc. Apart from jewellery artists and critics, we feature material researchers, fashion designers, collagists and many more. Our goal is to create a different dimension for jewellery in printed environment. We tell inspiring stories about people and places, touching upon subjects like value, language and presentation.
Our motto is “JEWELLERY IS WHAT YOU MAKE OF IT “

check it out:  OPEN CALL FOR CONTRIBUTIONS !

“The second issue of the magazine will be about “The Youth” – students, newly graduates, alumni and up-and-coming artists, keeping in mind that being young is not about the age, but about the attitude!
Release date of the second issue – October 2013 launched in Barcelona JOYA/Amsterdam SIERAAD/Eindhoven DDW.

We have created this open call for contributions because we are searching for:

– Projects that connect jewellery to other fields of art/design/fashion: performance, photography, illustration, audiovisual, collage, sculpture, etc.)
– Research projects: material, formal and theoretical
– Great new jewellery!
– Hardworking writers!

Our goal is to show the diversity and potency of the upcoming generation, to outline their standpoint and tendencies and to address the problems and choices the young makers are subject to.

To contribute or for more information, please email to:
info@current-obsession.com with THE YOUTH as the message subject.

Deadline: beginning of June 2013 “

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Check out the CO website to order a physical copy of the first issue.

or, here is the LIST OF RETAILERS :

+Klimt02 BARCELONA
+Galerie Rob Koudijs AMSTERDAM
+Gallery Ra AMSTERDAM
+Athenaeum Nieuwscentrum AMSTERDAM
+Do You Read Me!? BERLIN
+You Are Here EINDHOVEN
+Galerie Noel Guyomarc’h MONTREAL (QUEBEC)
+ ATTA Gallery BANGKOK
+Chrome Yellow Books LONDON
+ Galley P’LACE DRESDEN