Generally when you think jewelry, what probably comes to mind is adorning your body rather than explaining it. However, that's exactly what Multiple Exposures: Jewelry and Photography - at the Museum of Arts and Design (MAD) in NYC - is attempting. Using everything from historic daguerroetypes to manipulated digital imagery, the exhibition is using the unique lens of jewelry created by international artists to explore how we view the human form.
Issues of body and beauty of course raise questions about social issues, political concerns and cultural touchstones such as what we remember and considerable desirable. "Multiple Exposures questions the broader relation of jewelry to society and personal identity, issues central to the contemporary experience," explains MAD’s Curator of Jewelry, Ursula Ilse-Neuman, who curated the show. It includes mid-19th century pieces dating back to the invention of photography, around 150 years ago, which provide a historical context for the modern work of Gijs Bakker, Wafaa Bilal, Jordan Doner, Mari Ishikawa, Jiro Kamata, Sooyeon Kim, Iris Nieuwenburg, Kara Ross, Gabriela Sanchez, Bernhard Schobinger, Bettina Speckner, Joyce Scott, Kiff Slemmons, Andy Warhol and Noa Zilberman - in all, more than 80 artists from 20 countries.
In showcasing the path where jewelry and photography have journeyed together, the exhibition hopes to shed new insight on how contemporary jewelry artists transform and add new meaning to the pervasive images of our digital age. Such as the bold, gold-dipped tongue - a still from a digital 12-minute video by Lauren Kalman - which brought to mind that catchy hook from Fancy. (Although I have no doubt Iggy Azalea had something quite different in mind.)
Multiple Exposures: Jewelry and Photography is on display until September 14, 2014. Tix & info at MADMuseum.org.
Images: artist photograph by Martin Papcun (right); below, from left: Gijs Bakker; Bettina Speckner; artist unknown
Why not check out the podcast I recorded about this & how it relates to the Folkspun fashion tribe?
Music: Kevin MacLeod, Incompetech.com
- Lesley Scott