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Design Focus

Bijoux en jeu: Swiss Contemporary Jewelry Design


Date: December 14, 2017 to March 4, 2018
Venue: psD
Organizer: Power Station of Art (PSA)
Co-organizer: Musée de Design et d’Arts Appliqués Contemporains (mudac)
Supported by: Pro Helvetia Shanghai, Swiss Arts Council

From December 14, 2017 to March 4, 2018, psD (Power Station of DESIGN), the creative extension of the Power Station of Art, will present Bijoux en jeu: Swiss Contemporary Jewelry Design. Curated by the mudac (Musée de Design et d’Arts Appliqués Contemporains), the exhibition sets out to showcase nearly 300 pieces of jewelry design by 35 creators since the 1960s, through a thematic presentation defined by the following chapters: telling, adorning, using, shaping, and making. Shanghai is the third leg of the exhibition’s world tour, which previously stopped in Barcelona, Spain and Basel, Switzerland.

As a productive space that combines learning and exhibition, psD will invite exhibition designer Johanna Dahm for a three-day jewelry design workshop titled “The Body and More”. The event, with openly recruited participants, will take advantage of everyday life materials to explore the infinite possibilities of body decoration, based on contemplations of the human body, as it seeks to break the stereotypical thinking about “jewelry”. Creations of the workshop participants will be presented to the public as an integral part of the exhibition as well.

One Exhibition, Two Contemporary Jewelry Collections:
A Journey that Documents 30 Years’ Swiss Contemporary Jewelry

With the first pieces acquired during the 80s, the mudac (Musée de Design et d’Arts Appliqués Contemporains) houses two impressive jewelry collections: The Swiss Confederation’s Collection is built up especially with an eye to the winners or experts designated by the Swiss Federal Design Competition, a competition which has been encouraging young Swiss creators since 1918; while the mudac’s Collection encompasses, among others, pieces created in small series, highlighting a creative process which is similar to design.

The two jewelry collections offer a remarkable view of the developments which have affected an ever-changing discipline. But since the collection field for jewelry pieces is vast, the criteria for their acquisition must allow them a certain coherence. Those added to the collections have been evaluated on the basis of their creativity, on how well they reflect current trends, the research aspects of innovation and continuity, and the nationality of their creator.

Jewelry pieces on show at the exhibition not only systematically reflect mudac’s unchanging coherence to its acquisition criteria, but also contemporary jewelry design trends in Switzerland and even Europe as a whole. They include works inspired by the minimalist movements of the 70s, as well as the more expressive “author’s jewelry” and pieces by today’s emerging creators. Exhibitional forms such as photography, videos, and installations are also included to enhance the eye-opening event as well as illustrate the jewelry industry’s increasingly diversified artistic genres and styles.

Carole Guinard, curator for contemporary jewelry collections at mudac offered her insights: “A jewel is not just a decorative object or useless accessory. It is a field of infinite exploration that, thanks to the recovered freedom in this area since 1960, allows creators to question its meaning, function and use and to tryout countless techniques and materials. It is a place to voice opinion that is close to contemporary art.”

Participating Designers:

Christian Balmer , David Bielander, Sophie Bonduban, Esther Brinkmann, Johanna Dahm, AurélieDellasanta, Noémie Doge, Valentine Dubois, Felix Flury, Karl Fritsch, Max Fröhlich, KikoGianocca, Carole Guinard, Andi Gut, Sophie Hanagarth, AdelheidHanselmann, Therese Hilbert, Susanne Klemm, Otto Künzli, NelLinssen, Sonia Morel, Patrik Muff, Meret Oppenheim, David Roux-Fouillet, Fabrice Schaefer, Bernhard Schobinger, IlonaSchwippel, VerenaSieber-Fuchs, Hans Stofer, Monika Strasser, Julie Usel, Luzia Vogt, GuillemetteVulin, ChristophZellweger, Alberto Zorzi

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