Tan Fuerte Tan Cerca Critical Thinking



Liesbeth den Besten and Ted Noten have both published manifestos for a ‘new’ contemporary jewellery. André Gali reflects on these, and on a discussion between ‘content providers’ – critics, writers and editors within the contemporary field of jewellery – that took place in Munich during Schmuck, the annual jewellery week. ‘It´s the talk of the town’ says Jorunn Veiteberg. I meet the Norwegian art historian at Georgonhof, a restaurant in Munich. It is Schmuck – the annual jewellery week – considered by many to be the ‘Venice biennial’ of contemporary jewellery.

Versión en Español - Spanish version      


Después del final de la Joyería Contemporánea

por André Gali

 

 



Notas: 
[i] http://www.jewellersguildofgreatersandringham.com/overview-16-mar-2014.html
[ii] http://www.arnoldsche.com/en/Jewellery/ON-JEWELLERY.html
[iii] http://www.pinakothek.de/en/kalender/2013-03-09/34900/otto-kuenzli-exhibition
[iv] http://current-obsession.com/Ted-Noten-Manifesto
[v] Arthur C. Danto (1984). ’The End of Art’. In The Death of Art. New York: Haven Publishers.
[vi] Jean Baudrillard (2005). The Conspiracy of Art: Manifestos, Texts, Interviews (ed. Sylvere Lotringer), New York: Semiotexte.
[vii] Ibid. This is according to the editor Sylvere Lotringer, who writes a preface called ‘The Piracy of Art’ in Baudrillard’s book. The article was published in May 1996 in Liberation. The text was seen as a scandal in ‘the international artistic community by declaring that contemporary art had no more reason to exist’.
[viii] Nicolas Bourriaud (French 1998/English 2002). Esthétique relationnelle (Les presses du réel, 1998) The book was a collection of essays written during the 1990s. Bourriaud describes a new generation of artist like Rirkrit Tiravanija, Dominique Gonzalez-Foerster, Carsten Höller, Pierre Huyghe, Liam Gillick and Philippe Parreno.


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Versión en español: Andreína Rodríguez Seijas
Website: http://elementumjoya.blogspot.com.es/
Contact: andreinarodriguez@gmail.com
 

Liesbeth den Besten y Ted Noten publicaron manifiestos para una 'nueva' joyería contemporánea. André Gali reflexiona sobre esto y sobre una discusión entre "proveedores de contenido", críticos, escritores y editores dentro del campo contemporáneo de la joyería, que tuvo lugar en Munich durante Schmuck, la semana de joyería anual.

"Es la comidilla de la ciudad", dice Jorunn Veiteberg. Me encuentro con el historiador de arte noruego en Georgonhof, un restaurante en Munich. Es Schmuck, la semana de joyería anual, considerada por muchos como la "Bienal de Venecia" de la joyería contemporánea. Veiteberg y yo hemos sido invitados por Benjamin Lignel, de Art Jewelry Forum, para participar en una discusión sobre "suministro de contenido" en el campo de la joyería contemporánea. Otros invitados a participar en la discusión son Dirk Allgaier y Marion Boschka de Arnolsdsche Art Publishers, Reinhold Ludwig y Annika Reith de Art Aurea, Marina Elenskaya y Sarah Mesritz de Current Obsession, Suzanne Ramljak de Metalsmith, Renee Bevan y Raewin Walsh de Overview, y la curadora e historiadora del arte Lisbeth den Besten, por mencionar una selección de las aproximadamente veinte personas reunidas en Georgenhof este jueves por la tarde.

Veiteberg, crítica de arte desde hace mucho tiempo, editora de numerosos libros sobre arte contemporáneo y artesanía, joyas de arte, cerámica, etc., es el jurado y curadora para la exposición de joyería en International Handwerksmesse, simplemente llamada Schmuck 2014. La exposición se considera de gran importancia para los artistas que quieren hacerse un nombre, y este año 552 artistas de 43 países solicitaron participar. Luego de un estricto proceso de jurado, Veiteberg seleccionó a 66 artistas de joyería de 25 países. Solo se incluyó un artista noruego: Anna Talbot.

Me enorgullece decir que Veiteberg también es la presidenta de Norwegian Crafts, lo que proporciona a mis universidades y a mí un conocimiento increíble sobre los entornos de la artesanía internacional. Ella ha intervenido en el centro del sistema nervioso de las joyas de arte, así que de inmediato siento curiosidad por lo que está diciendo. ¿De qué se trata la charla de la ciudad?

"Liesbeth den Besten escribió un artículo en Overviewl [i] en el que casi destroza toda la semana de la joyería", explica Veiteberg. Overview, resulta que es una revista de joyas en línea de Nueva Zelanda que ha publicado su primera edición impresa en relación con la exposición colectiva Wunderrüma en Galerie Handwerk. La revista se entrega de forma gratuita, y agarro una en la discusión.


Es tiempo de un cambio
En Overview, el artículo de den Besten se publica bajo el título 'The Golden Standard of Schmuckashau'. Schmuckashau es una palabra en parte sin sentido inventada por un crítico australiano de 'Schmuck Shau' (que significa exposición de joyas en alemán), y para den Besten, se convierte en un término que denota la estandarización de la joyería contemporánea como 'un fait-a-complit, un de hecho, una experiencia de esto-debe-ser-que ella siente que ha sido dominante en Munich en los últimos años. El artículo, que también es un manifiesto, busca establecer que la joyería contemporánea se ha vuelto obsoleta y solo se comunica con una multitud que habla joyas, un lenguaje que se establece y confirma en la joyería anual en marzo, la gran joyería social. reunión de la comunidad, el imán de la red, la máquina de la exposición'.

Liesbeth den Besten no es solo alguien que hace un reclamo sobre joyas contemporáneas; ella es una 'gran dama' en curaduría y pensamiento crítico dentro de la escena de la joyería contemporánea. Actualmente, ella enseña en la Academia Gerrit Rietveld en Amsterdam. Es miembro fundador de Think Tank, una Iniciativa Europea para las Artes Aplicadas. Su libro más reciente, On Jewellery: A Compendium of International Contemporary Art Jewellery, [ii] publicado por Arnoldsche Art Publishers en 2011, se ha convertido en una lectura obligada para cualquier persona interesada en el discurso de la joyería contemporánea.

Con este currículum, den Besten es alguien a quien debes tomar en serio, y vale la pena pensar en las tendencias que ella ve en la joyería contemporánea. Estas tendencias son 'joyería como accesorios, objetividad sin joyería, aislamiento y exclusión'. Ella concluye que es 'hora de un cambio'.

Su artículo continúa criticando una exhibición realizada en 2013 en Pinakotek der Moderne, una importante encuesta de las obras de Otto Künzli, quien ha sido una figura importante en la joyería contemporánea durante décadas, tanto como fabricante y como profesor. Künzli es descrito por den Besten como "un artista conceptual inteligente y sensible".

La exposición, que simplemente se llamó The Exhibition, [iii] hizo poco o ningún esfuerzo para llegar a un público más amplio. No se basó en mucha información externa, ni siquiera en las propias obras fotográficas de Künzli, lo que podría haber ayudado a los espectadores a comprender lo que estaba sucediendo en sus joyas. La Exposición, según den Besten, destaca un desafío al que se enfrenta el mundo de la joyería contemporánea: no se acerca, no se relaciona con nadie más que la gente que desde dentro que habla sobre joyas con fluidez.


¿Diseño, moda o arte?
den Besten no es la primera en plantear este reclamo. En 2012, la historiadora del arte y coleccionista Marjan Unger observó que la "burbuja" de la joyería realmente no atraía a nuevos públicos o coleccionistas. Ella preguntó: ¿Qué harán las joyas contemporáneas cuando los coleccionistas envejezcan? Ser tratadas como arte e incluidas en las colecciones de museos de arte puede otorgar estatus de joyería contemporánea en el mundo de las bellas artes, pero ¿a qué costo?

En el debate sobre el "proveedor de contenido" en Georgenhof, algunas de las preguntas se referían al papel de las publicaciones -libros y revistas (en línea o fuera de línea)- en la promoción de la joyería contemporánea. ¿Qué podemos hacer para crear conciencia fuera del círculo cerrado de conocedores de joyas contemporáneos? ¿Se logra más el mostrar sin compromiso y hablar sobre la joyería contemporánea como arte, o es un necesario conectarse con el mundo de la moda y el mundo del diseño para nuevas audiencias, nuevas formas de presentar las obras y nuevas interpretaciones?

Según la relativamente nueva revista Current Obsession, la respuesta es la última. Marina Elenskaya y Sarah Mesritz, las dos editoras, quieren colaborar con la moda y el diseño y conectarse con las experiencias que tienen las personas con ese tipo de trasfondo. Están "realmente muy interesados" en la joyería contemporánea.

Mientras que Overview parece haberse establecido, al menos por el aspecto de la edición impresa, como un periódico subcultural para un público duro y crítico, Current Obsession está, al parecer, en el otro extremo del espectro. Su presencia en línea me recuerda más al blog de moda de un adolescente que a un vehículo para el pensamiento crítico. Sin embargo, puede ser lo que la joyería contemporánea necesita para romper sus límites autoinfligidos.


Diversos enfoques
Durante la discusión, Veiteberg no expresa preocupación por la falta de cobertura de los medios. Por el contrario, señala el hecho de que las 20 personas que participan en la discusión representan una gran cobertura. Y señala que existe la necesidad de que la audiencia académica y educada de la joyería tenga una cobertura de medios informada, crítica y analítica, independientemente de si solo se comunica con un público pequeño. Creo que lo que Veiteberg está señalando es la necesidad de un fuerte discurso de joyería para los historiadores del arte como ella, una noción con la que estoy de acuerdo con todo corazón.

Me parece que los diferentes "proveedores de contenido" involucrados en la discusión representan enfoques muy diversos de la joyería contemporánea: Arnoldsche Art Publishers presenta hermosos libros sobre artistas singulares, la revista estadounidense Metalsmith cubre joyas y otras obras escultóricas de metal, el bilingüe Art Aurea cubre joyas y objetos. También está el sitio web basado en miembros Klimt02, y no olvidemos el Art Jewelry Forum, que tomó la iniciativa de invitarnos a todos a participar en la discusión; proporcionan un archivo importante de entrevistas y discusiones sobre joyas contemporáneas para coleccionistas y otros.

Creo que la variedad en la cobertura también refleja una constelación de preguntas planteadas en la discusión, preguntas que siempre parecen surgir cada vez que se habla de joyas contemporáneas, y que tienen que ver con la identidad: ¿es el diseño o el arte de la joyería? ¿Deberíamos llamarlo joyas de autor, joyas contemporáneas, joyas de arte, joyas de estudio o algo completamente diferente? Además, ¿qué se necesita para obtener el "mensaje" de la joyería contemporánea, hacer que la gente vea que la joyería contemporánea puede ser "cool" o "sexy", y que tiene historias significativas para contar sobre el cuerpo y el mundo?


Legibilidad diversa
No tengo respuestas concluyentes a estas preguntas desafiantes, pero me parece que puede ser una ventaja que la joyería contemporánea (llamémoslo por ahora) puede ser arte, moda y diseño, y tal vez incluso algo completamente diferente en conjunto .

¿Cómo categorizar obras como las piezas gordas, las pastillas o las piezas de leche de Stefan Heuser? ¿O las piezas de ingeniera mecánica de Sigurd Bronger? ¿Por no mencionar los broches de intestino y piel de cerdo de Eunmi Chun? ¿O las piezas de juguete de Felieke van der Leest? ¿Y el propio maestro de Munich, Otto Künzli? Es él quien ha enseñado a muchos de los joyeros contemporáneos que se han hecho un nombre (algunos de los cuales también mencioné aquí), y parece tener una especie de omnipresencia en el mundo de la joyería.

Mi lista está limitada por el conocimiento que tengo actualmente sobre este campo, y tal vez por mi experiencia en arte contemporáneo y teorías sobre teatralidad me hace ver esto en una cierta perspectiva que difiere de las personas que conocen este campo desde hace años y que hablan joyas 'con fluidez. Pero una cosa que noté durante la discusión, y creo que otros también lo notaron, fue la alegría genuina de los editores de Current Obsession cuando hablaron sobre cómo sus amigos en diseño y moda experimentaron joyas contemporáneas de una manera que ellos (o nosotros) nunca sabremos . Muestra cómo puede tener lugar un diálogo entre las piezas de joyería y las personas con experiencias y conocimientos previos completamente diferentes. Aunque ese diálogo puede no ser tan cercano a lo que el artista de la joyería pretendía, puede tener un impacto serio. Pero consideremos que es una fortaleza de la pieza de joyería si puede evocar nuevas ideas y hacer que la gente vea las conexiones que el artista, el curador o el crítico, no verían tan fácilmente. Si un trabajo se puede leer de muchas maneras diferentes, me parece que es más sostenible en estos tiempos de cambio que lo que den Besten considera en su artículo.


Una conspiración de joyería contemporánea
Justo antes de tener que saltarme la ciudad, me presentaron al nuevo profesor de metal en la Academia Nacional de las Artes de Oslo, Anders Ljungberg. Mientras discutíamos lo que hemos visto hasta ahora, recomendó, o tal vez no tanto como recomendar sino como respuesta negativa a un manifiesto escrito por Ted Noten que se publicó en el sitio web de Current Obsession. [Iv]

El manifiesto comienza declarando que las joyerìa contemporànea ha muerto. Este tipo de afrimaciones siempre son audaces, y a menudo nada que tomar demasiado en serio. Mi pensamiento inmediato se dirigió hacia la pintura, y las muchas veces que el medio ha sido declarado muerto en los últimos cien años. Los siguientes pensamientos fueron el "fin del arte", tal como lo estableció el difunto teórico del arte Arthur Danto, [v] y a "la conspiración del arte" según lo describe Jean Baudrillard, el chico malo de la teoría francesa. [Vi]

En la opinión de Danto, el arte contemporáneo representa el final del arte porque la relación entre la obra de arte y el mundo se rompió con el arte moderno. El arte se despojó de sus derechos porque no tenía nada que hacer más que ser él mismo. Se llegó a comprender que lo que hacía el arte de una cosa era la filosofía, la teoría y la historia que lo rodeaban, también las relaciones e instituciones (formales e informales) en las que la cosa, como obra de arte, se integraba. La conspiración, según Baudrillard, quien declaró la 'muerte de lo real', surge de la falta de una relación con la realidad, y haber creado un 'mundo del arte', un sistema de personas e instituciones que den la impresión de que el arte todavía está vivo.


De vuelta al usuario - portador
De los dos manifiestos, Den Besten's en Overview y Noten's en Current Obsession, parece que la joyería contemporánea comparte un destino con el arte; ha terminado pero se mantiene en un respirador a través de una conspiración de instituciones y personas. Es tentador pensar en el ataque de Den Besten y Noten a la joyería contemporánea como consecuencia del descubrimiento de "la conspiración de la joyería contemporánea" que apareció después del "final de la joyería contemporánea", para ponerlo en palabras similares a las de Danto y Baudrillard.

 

Puede ser interesante señalar a este respecto que, desde que Baudrillard publicó su texto sobre la "conspiración del arte" en el periódico izquierdista francés Liberation en 1996, [vii] ha ido en aumento una nueva estética centrada en París. Esta estética ha sido descrita por el crítico de arte y curador francés Nicolas Bourriaud como "un conjunto de prácticas artísticas que toman como punto de partida teórico y práctico la totalidad de las relaciones humanas y su contexto social, en lugar de un espacio independiente y privado". Más tarde, todo el mundo del arte llegaría a hablar de esto como 'estética relacional'. [viii]

Parece que tanto Den Besten como Noten están pidiendo una "nueva" joyería que reinventará su relación con el usuario; debería dejar atrás la pared de la galería obsoleta y sin vida o la vitrina de cristal y enredarse en las relaciones sociales humanas. Si es así, puede ser una forma productiva de salir de la conspiración de la joyería contemporánea, o Schmuckashau, para dar una nueva mirada al arte generado por la estética relacional. Tal vez la joyería contemporánea podría ser un importante contribuyente a una forma de arte que no tome como punto de partida la materialidad o la formalidad. En cambio, podría concebirse a sí misma como una intervención relacional en el tejido de la vida social. Puede no importar si lo llamas arte, moda o diseño; lo que importa sería la capacidad de crear y / o recrear relaciones entre personas, una plataforma para el intercambio más que un trabajo para poseer. No me parece tan descabellado, y sería una forma de volver a enfocarse en el portador.


Norwegian Crafts es fundada por la Asociación Noruega de Artes y Oficios, y se financia con el apoyo del Ministerio de Cultura y el Ministerio de Asuntos Exteriores.

Norwegian Crafts
Rådhusgaten 20, 0151 Oslo, Norway
Teléfono: +47 22910260
Correo -e: post@norwegiancrafts.no
Sitio Web: http://www.norwegiancrafts.no


Referencias: 
Art Jewelry Forum - http://www.artjewelryforum.org
Arnoldsche Art Publishers - http://www.arnoldsche.com
Art Aurea - http://www.artaurea.com
Current Obsession - http://current-obsession.com
Metalsmith - https://www.snagmetalsmith.org/metalsmith-magazine/about-metalsmith
Overview - http://www.jewellersguildofgreatersandringham.com
Klimt02 - http://klimt02.net



‘It´s the talk of the town’ says Jorunn Veiteberg.I meet the Norwegian art historian at Georgonhof, a restaurant in Munich. It is Schmuck – the annual jewellery week – considered by many to be the ‘Venice biennial’ of contemporary jewellery. Veiteberg and I have been invited by Art Jewelry Forum's Benjamin Lignel to participate in a discussion on ‘content providing’ in the field of contemporary jewellery. Others invited to participate in the discussion are Dirk Allgaier and Marion Boschka from Arnolsdsche Art Publishers, Reinhold Ludwig and Annika Reith from Art Aurea, Marina Elenskaya and Sarah Mesritz from Current Obsession, Suzanne Ramljak from Metalsmith, Renee Bevan and Raewin Walsh from Overview, and curator and art historian Lisbeth den Besten, to mention a selection of the twenty or so people gathered at Georgenhof this Thursday afternoon.

Veiteberg, who is a long-time art critic, editor of numerous books on contemporary art and crafts, art jewellery, ceramics and so on, is this year’s ‘one-woman’ jury and curator for the jewellery exhibition at International Handwerksmesse, simply called Schmuck 2014. The exhibition is considered to be of great importance for artists who wants to make a name for themselves, and this year 552 artists from 43 countries applied to participate. After a strict jurying process, Veiteberg selected 66 jewellery artists from 25 countries. Only one Norwegian artist was included: Anna Talbot.

I’m proud to say that Veiteberg is also chair-woman of Norwegian Crafts, providing my colleges and I with incredible knowledge about international crafts milieus. She has tapped into the centre of art jewellery’s nervous system, so I’m immediately curious about what she is saying. What is it that is the talk of the town?

‘Liesbeth den Besten wrote an article in Overview[i] where she pretty much trashes the whole jewellery week,’ Veiteberg explains. Overview, it turns out, is an online jewellery magazine from New Zealand that has published its first print edition in connection with the group exhibitionWunderrüma at Galerie Handwerk.The magazine is handed out for free, and I grab one at the discussion.

Time for a change
In Overview, den Besten’s article is published under the title The Golden Standard of Schmuckashau’. Schmuckashau is a partly-nonsensical word invented by an Australian critic from ‘Schmuck Shau’ (meaning jewellery exhibition in German), and for den Besten, it becomes a term denoting the standardization of contemporary jewellery as ‘a fait-a-complit, a matter of fact, a this-must-be-it-experience’ that she feels has been dominant in Munich the last few years. The article, which also is a manifesto, seeks to establish that contemporary jewellery has grown stale and only communicates with an inside crowd who ‘speak jewellery – a language that is established and confirmed at the yearly jewellery-Mecca in March, the big social jewelry community gathering, the network magnet, the exhibition machine’.

Liesbeth den Besten is not just anyone making a claim about contemporary jewellery; she is a ‘grand dame’ in curating and critical thinking within the contemporary jewellery scene. Presently, she teaches at Gerrit Rietveld Academy in Amsterdam. She is a founding member of Think Tank, a European Initiative for the Applied Arts. Her most recent book, On Jewellery: A Compendium of International Contemporary Art Jewellery,[ii] published by Arnoldsche Art Publishers in 2011, has become a must-read for anyone interested in the discourse of contemporary jewellery.

With this résumé, den Besten is someone you must take seriously, and the tendencies she sees in contemporary jewellery are worth thinking over. These tendencies are ‘[j]ewellery as props, objecthood without jewelleryness, isolation and exclusion’. She concludes that it is ‘time for a change’.

Her article goes on to criticize an exhibition held in 2013 at Pinakotek der Moderne, a major survey of the works of Otto Künzli, who has been an important figure in contemporary jewellery for decades, both as a maker and as a teacher. Künzli is described by den Besten as ‘a smart and sensitive conceptual artist’.

The exhibition, which was simply called The Exhibition, [iii] made little or no effort to reach out to a broader audience. It did not draw on much outside information, not even on Künzli´s own photographic works, which could have helped viewers understand what was going on in his jewellery. The Exhibition, according to den Besten, highlights a challenge which the contemporary jewellery world faces: it doesn´t reach out, it doesn´t engage with anyone other than the insider crowd who ‘speaks jewellery’ fluently.

Design, fashion or art?
den Besten is not the first to raise this claim. In 2012, art historian and collector Marjan Unger observed that the jewellery ‘bubble’ didn’t really bring in new audiences or collectors. She asked: What will contemporary jewellery do when collectors grow old? To be treated as art and included in the holdings of art museums may give contemporary jewellery status in the fine art world, but at what cost?

At the ‘content provider’ discussion at Georgenhof, some of the questions concerned the role of publications – books and magazines (online or offline) – in promoting contemporary jewellery. What can we do to raise awareness outside the closed circle of contemporary jewellery connoisseurs? Is it best achieved by uncompromisingly showing and talking about contemporary jewellery as art, or is it desirable to connect to the fashion world and the design world for new audiences, new ways of presenting the works and new interpretations?

According to the fairly new magazineCurrent Obsession, the answer is the latter. Marina Elenskaya and Sarah Mesritz, the two editors, want to collaborate with fashion and design and to connect with the experiences that people with that type of background have. They are ‘really really interested’ in contemporary jewellery.

While Overview seems to have established itself, at least by the look of the printed edition, as a subcultural newspaper for a die-hard, critical inside crowd, Current Obsession is, it seems, at the other end of the spectrum. It’s online presence reminds me more of a teenager’s fashion blog than a vehicle for critical thinking. However, it may just be what contemporary jewellery needs to break out of its self-inflicted boundaries.

Diverse approaches
During the discussion, Veiteberg expresses no concern about the lack of media coverage. On the contrary, she points to the fact that the 20 people participating in the discussion represent a great deal of coverage. And she points out that there is a need for the academic, educated jewellery audience to have informed, critical and analytical media coverage, regardless of whether it only communicates to a small public. I think what Veiteberg is pointing at is the need for a strong jewellery discourse for art historians like herself, a notion I agree with wholeheartedly.

It seems to me that the different ‘content providers’ involved in the discussion represent very diverse approaches to contemporary jewellery: Arnoldsche Art Publishers presents beautiful books on singular artists, the American magazine Metalsmith covers jewellery and other metal works like sculpture, the bilingual Art Aurea covers jewellery and objects. There is also the member-based website Klimt02, and let’s not forget Art Jewelry Forum, which took the initiative to invite us all to participate in the discussion; they provide an important archive of interviews and discussions on contemporary jewellery for collectors and others.

I think the variety in coverage also reflects a constellation of questions raised in the discussion, questions that always seem to come up whenever contemporary jewellery is discussed, and that have to do with identity: Is jewellery art or design? Should we call it author jewellery, contemporary jewellery, art jewellery, studio jewellery, or something completely different? Furthermore, what will it take to get the ‘message’ of contemporary jewellery out there, to get people to see that contemporary jewellery can be ‘cool’ or ‘sexy’, and that it has meaningful stories to tell about the body and the world?

Diverse readability
I don’t have any conclusive answers to these challenging questions, but it seems to me that it may be a strength that contemporary jewellery (let’s call it that for now) can be art, fashion and design, and maybe even something completely different altogether.

How do you categorize works like Stefan Heuser’s fat-pieces, pill-pieces or breast-milk-pieces? Or the mechanical engineer-pieces by Sigurd Bronger? Not to mention the gut and pig-skin brooches of Eunmi Chun? Or the toy-pieces by Felieke van der Leest? And what about the Munich maestro himself, Otto Künzli? It is he who has taught many of the contemporary jewellery makers who have made a name for themselves (some of whom I also mentioned here), and he seems to have a kind of omnipresence in the jewellery world.

My list is limited by the knowledge I currently have about this field, and maybe by my background from contemporary art and theories on theatricality makes me see this in a certain perspective that differs from the people who have known this field for years and who ‘speak jewellery’ fluently. But one thing I noticed during the discussion, and I think others noticed it too, was the genuine joy of Current Obsession’s editors when they talked about how their friends in design and fashion experienced contemporary jewellery in a way they (or we) will never know. It shows how a dialogue can take place between the jewellery pieces and individuals with completely different previous experiences and knowledge. Although that dialogue may not be all that close to what the jewellery artist intended, it can make a serious impact. But let’s consider it a strength of the jewellery piece if it can evoke new ideas and make people see connections the artist – or the curator or critic – wouldn’t so easily see. If a work can be read in many different ways, it seems to me to be more sustainable in these shifting times than what den Besten considers in her article.

A conspiracy of contemporary jewellery
Just before I had to skip town, I was introduced to the new metal professor at Oslo National Academy of the Arts, Anders Ljungberg. While discussing what we’ve seen thus far, he recommended, or maybe not so much recommended as responded negatively to, a manifesto written by Ted Noten that was published on Current Obsession’s website.[iv]

The manifesto starts off by declaring contemporary jewellery to be dead. These kinds of claims are always bold, and oftentimes nothing to take too seriously. My immediate thought went to painting, and the many times the medium has been declared dead the last hundred years. The next thoughts went to the ‘end of art’, as established by the late art theorist Arthur Danto,[v] and to ‘the conspiracy of art’ as described by French theory’s bad boy Jean Baudrillard.[vi]

In Danto’s view, contemporary art represents the end of Art because the relationship between the artwork and the world was broken by Modern art. Art became disenfranchised because it had nothing to do other than be itself. It came to be realized that what made a thing art was the philosophy, theory and history surrounding the thing, also the relationships and institutions (both formal and informal) into which the thing, as artwork, was integrated. The conspiracy, according to Baudrillard, who famously declared the ‘death of the real’, thus arises from the lack of a relationship to reality, and it has created an ‘art world’ – a system of people and institutions that give the impression that art is still alive.

Back to the wearer
From the two manifestos, den Besten’s in Overview and Noten’s in Current Obsession, it seems that contemporary jewellery shares a fate with art; it has ended but is kept on a respirator through a conspiracy of institutions and people. It’s tempting to think of den Besten’s and Noten’s attack on contemporary jewellery as following the uncovering of ‘the conspiracy of contemporary jewellery’ that has appeared after the ‘end of contemporary jewellery’ – to put it in words resembling those of Danto and Baudrillard.

Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close is a 2011 American drama film adaptation of the novel of the same name by Jonathan Safran Foer, directed by Stephen Daldry and written by Eric Roth. It stars Thomas Horn, Tom Hanks, Sandra Bullock, Max von Sydow, Viola Davis, John Goodman, Jeffrey Wright, and Zoe Caldwell. Production took place in New York City. The film had a limited release in the United States on December 25, 2011 by Warner Bros. Pictures, and a wide release on January 20, 2012. Despite mixed reviews, the film was nominated for two Academy Awards, Best Picture and Best Supporting Actor for von Sydow. The film earned $55.2 million.[3] The film was released in Blu-ray,[4]DVD, and digital download formats in Region 1 on March 27, 2012.[5]

Plot[edit]

Nine-year-old Oskar Schell (Thomas Horn), who has Asperger syndrome, is the son of German American Thomas Schell (Tom Hanks). Thomas often sent Oskar on missions to do something connected with one of his riddles. The last riddle he gives Oskar proves that New York City once possessed a Sixth Borough. In a flashback, Thomas and Oskar play a scavenger hunt to find objects throughout New York City. The game requires communication with other people and is not easy for the socially awkward Oskar, who is told "If things were easy to find they wouldn't be worth finding".

On September 11, 2001, Oskar and his classmates are sent home from school early while his mother Linda (Sandra Bullock) is at work. When Oskar gets home, he finds five messages from his father on the answering machine saying he is in the World Trade Center. When Thomas calls for the sixth time, Oskar is too scared to answer. The machine records a sixth message which stops when the building collapses. Oskar knows his father has been killed and falls to the floor. He replaces the answering machine with a new one and hides the old one so his mother will never find out.

A few weeks after what Oskar calls "the worst day", he confides in his German grandmother and they become closer. Oskar's relationship with his mother worsens since she cannot explain why the World Trade Center was attacked and why his father died. Oskar tells his mother he wishes it had been her in the building, not his father, and she responds, "So do I". After, Oskar says he did not mean it, but his mother doesn't believe him.

A year later, Oskar finds a vase in his father's closet with a key in an envelope with the word "Black" on it. He vows to find what the key fits. He finds 472 Blacks in the New York phone book and plans to meet each of them to see if they knew his father. He first meets Abby Black (Viola Davis), who has recently divorced her husband. She tells Oskar she did not know his father.

One day, Oskar realizes that a strange man (Max von Sydow) has moved in with his grandmother. This stranger does not talk because of a childhood trauma caused by his parents' death in World War II. He communicates with written notes and with his hands which have "yes" and "no" tattooed on them. As they become friends and go together on the hunt to find what the key fits, Oskar learns to face his fears, such as those of public transport and bridges. Eventually, Oskar concludes that the stranger is his grandfather and plays the answering machine messages for this stranger. Before playing the last message, the stranger cannot bear listening any longer, this message being his son's last words, and stops Oskar. Later on, the stranger moves out and tells Oskar not to search anymore.

When Oskar looks at a newspaper clipping his father gave him, he finds a circled phone number with a reference to an estate sale. He dials the number and reaches Abby, who wants to take Oskar to her ex-husband, William, who may know about the key. William (Jeffrey Wright) tells Oskar he has been looking for the key. William had sold the vase to Oskar's father who never knew the key was in the vase. The key fits a safe deposit box where William's father left something for him. Disappointed and distraught because the key does not belong to him, Oskar confesses to William that he did not pick up the phone during his father's sixth and final phone call and then goes home. He proceeds to write letters to all the people he met and thank them for their kindness.

Oskar's mother tells Oskar she knew he was contacting the Blacks. She then informs him that she visited each Black in advance and informed them that Oskar was going to visit and why. Oskar makes an artbook-like scrapbook filled with pop-ups and pull tabs like a children's book, of his scavenger hunt and all the people he met and titles it "Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close". At the end of the book there is a pull tab, showing an animation in which Thomas's body is falling up instead of down.

Soon after, Oskar visits the park he and his father frequented and thinks about the swings his father showed him. Looking underneath one, he finds a message from his father, congratulating him for finishing what would be their final expedition, giving Oskar the closure he desperately needed.

Oskar's grandfather returns to live with Oskar's grandmother.

Cast[edit]

Production[edit]

Development[edit]

In August 2010, it was reported that director Stephen Daldry and producer Scott Rudin had been working on a film adaptation of the novel for five years.[6]Eric Roth was hired to write the script.[7]Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close is a co-production with Paramount Pictures and Warner Bros., with Warner being the "lead studio".[6]Chris Menges served as director of photography, K. K. Barrett as production designer and Ann Roth as costume designer.[8]

Casting[edit]

Tom Hanks and Sandra Bullock were the first to be cast in the film.[9] A nationwide search for child actors between the ages of 9 and 13 began in late October 2010 for the role of Oskar Schell.[10]Thomas Horn, who had won over $30,000 at age 12[11] on the 2010 Jeopardy! Kids Week, was chosen for the role in December 2010.[12] Horn had had no prior acting interest but was approached by the producers based on his quiz-show appearance.[11] On January 3, 2011 The Hollywood Reporter announced that John Goodman joined the cast.[13] That same month Viola Davis and Jeffrey Wright were cast.[14]Nico Muhly was credited in the film poster as the composer, but on October 21, 2011 it was reported that Alexandre Desplat was chosen to compose the score.[15] Similarly, James Gandolfini was credited on the initial poster, and was originally in the film as a love interest for Bullock's character. Test audiences reacted negatively to their scenes together, and he was cut.[16] Austrian actress Senta Berger was offered a role in the film, but declined.[17]

Characterization[edit]

Daldry stated in an interview that the film is about "a special child who is somewhere on the autistic spectrum, trying to find his own logic – trying to make sense of something that literally doesn’t make sense to him."[18] When asked how much research was necessary to realistically portray a character with such a condition, he answered "we did a lot of research," and that he "spent a lot of time with different experts of Asperger’s and talked to them."[18] In the film, Oskar reveals that he was tested for Asperger syndrome, but the results were inconclusive.[18][19] As Daldry explained: "Every child is different on the autistic spectrum, so we created our own version of a child that was in some way – not heavily, but somewhere on that spectrum in terms of the fears and the phobias."[18] There are no references to autism in the novel.[19] Author Jonathan Safran Foer stated in an interview that he had never thought of Oskar as autistic, but added, "Which is not to say he isn't – it's really up for readers to decide. It's not to say that plenty of descriptions of him wouldn't be fitting, only that I didn't have them in mind at the time."[19]

Filming[edit]

Principal photography was expected to begin in January,[10] but started in March 2011[8] in New York City.[14] Filming went on hiatus in June.[20] On May 16, 2011, scenes were shot on the streets of the Lower East Side and Chinatown. Cranes were used to shoot scenes on the corner of Orchard Street and Grand Street.[21]Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close was filmed with an Arri Alexa and was the first Hollywood feature film to use Arri's ArriRaw format to store the data for post-production.[22] Several scenes for the film were shot in Central Park, a location that is integral to the storyline, near The Lake and Wollman Rink.[23] The Seaport Jewelry Exchange on Fulton St. was used for a pivotal scene in the film when the son is searching through a jewelry store and its back room.[citation needed]

Release[edit]

Daldry had hoped to have the film released around the tenth anniversary of the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001. A test screening took place in New York on September 25, 2011 to a positive reaction.[24]Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close had a limited release in the United States on December 25, 2011, and a wide release on January 20, 2012.[25] It was released in the United Kingdom on February 17, 2012.[26]

Home media release[edit]

The film was released in Blu-ray,[4]DVD, and digital download formats in Region 1 on March 27, 2012.[5]

Reception[edit]

Critical response[edit]

Review aggregation website Rotten Tomatoes reported a 46% approval rating and an average rating of 5.5/10 based on 179 reviews. The website's consensus reads, "Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close has a story worth telling, but it deserves better than the treacly and pretentious treatment director Stephen Daldry gives it."[27]Metacritic, which assigns a weighted average score out of 100 to reviews from mainstream critics, gives the film a score of 46 based on 41 reviews.[28]

Critics were sharply divided about the subject matter of the film. Betsy Sharkey of the Los Angeles Times wrote that the film was a "handsomely polished, thoughtfully wrapped Hollywood production about the national tragedy of 9/11 that seems to have forever redefined words like 'unthinkable,' 'unforgivable,' 'catastrophic'."[29] Andrea Peyser of the New York Post called it "Extremely, incredibly exploitive" and a "quest for emotional blackmail, cheap thrills and a naked ploy for an Oscar."[30] Peter Howell of the Toronto Star gave the film one out of four stars saying that "[the] film feels all wrong on every level, mistaking precociousness for perceptiveness and catastrophe for a cuddling session. It's calculated as Oscar bait, but the bait is poisoned by opportunism and feigned sensitivity".[31]

Accolades[edit]

Best picture nomination[edit]

Before the film's release, Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close was expected to be a major contender at the 84th Academy Awards (Stephen Daldry's previous two films had garnered Best Picture nominations). However, due to the film's polarizing reception and being ignored by most of the Critics Groups Awards, the Golden Globe Awards, the British Academy Film Awards, and the Screen Actors Guild Awards, it was no longer deemed as a major contender.[33] Nevertheless, the film was nominated for Best Picture and Best Supporting Actor. Critics and audiences criticized the film's nomination for Best Picture, with some calling the film one of the worst Best Picture nominees ever.[34] It is the only widely reviewed film on aggregator Rotten Tomatoes with a "rotten" rating to receive a Best Picture nomination.[35] Chris Krapek of The Huffington Post wrote very negatively about the film's nomination, calling the film "not only the worst reviewed Best Picture nominee of the last 10 years, [but] easily the worst film of 2011".[36]Paste Magazine's Adam Vitcavage called the film's consensus for a Best Picture nominee "certainly the worst for at least 28 years",[37] and David Gritten of The Telegraph calls the nomination "mysterious".[38]

Many critics have blamed the new Best Picture rules for the nomination. John Young at Entertainment Weekly says that when it comes to the new rules, "it's better to be loved by a small and passionate group instead of liked by a much larger group",[39] and Jen Chaney at The Washington Post, believes that, "the Academy should've just stuck to the 10 rule so that films like Dragon Tattoo or Harry Potter could've joined the other worthy contenders, because if you’re going to create a bunch of drama around the number of nominees and then come up one shy of what has become the typical total, that just feels like a letdown."[40]The Week writes that the new rules are a failure, as it lets "smaller, divisive movies that the Academy had hoped to weed out, like Tree of Life and Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close in, but prevents critically-praised crowd pleasers like Bridesmaids and The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo from being nominated."[41]

Opposingly, awards pundit Tom O'Neil defended the nomination and the film, stating: "This is a movie that we unwisely wrote off, but we did it because we believed the critics. This movie delivers. It is a superb motion picture. It is moving, it is relevant to our time, it is extremely well made."[42]

At the 84th Academy Awards, Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close lost in both of its categories (Best Picture to The Artist and Best Supporting Actor to Christopher Plummer for Beginners).

Soundtrack[edit]

TitleSongwriter, song performer and music composer
"If You Know The Lord Is Keeping You"Charles Taylor
"Cleo's Back"Little Freddie King and Willie J. Woods
All MusicAlexandre Desplat

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^Debruge, Peter (2011-12-18). "Review: 'Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close'". Variety. Retrieved 2016-10-29. 
  2. ^Appelo, Tim. "'Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close' Child Actor Discovered on Teen 'Jeopardy!'". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved 29 October 2016. 
  3. ^ ab"Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close". Box Office Mojo. Retrieved 2016-10-29. 
  4. ^ abWhitman, Howard. "lu-ray Review: Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close (Warner Bros.)". Technology Tell. www.technologytell.com. 
  5. ^ abSrisavasdi, Greg (February 22, 2012). "'Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close' Finds Its Way on Blu-Ray & DVD March 27th". Hollywood Outbreak. 
  6. ^ abFleming, Mike (August 22, 2010). "Warner Bros and Paramount In Tandem On 'Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close'". Deadline.com. PMC. Archived from the original on October 22, 2011. Retrieved May 30, 2011. 
  7. ^Kit, Borys (October 14, 2010). "Stephen Daldry to direct 'Extremely Loud': Project based on a Sept. 11-themed novel". The Hollywood Reporter. Prometheus Global Media. Archived from the original on June 6, 2011. Retrieved May 26, 2011. 
  8. ^ ab"Cameras Roll on "Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close" as It Heads from the Page to the Big Screen". Business Wire. March 1, 2011. Archived from the original on May 30, 2011. Retrieved May 30, 2011. 
  9. ^"Hanks and Bullock Getting Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close". ComingSoon.net. CraveOnline. August 23, 2010. Retrieved May 26, 2011. 
  10. ^ abLehman, Daniel (November 1, 2010). "'Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close' Casting Boys in Brooklyn?". Backstage. Prometheus Global Media. Archived from the original on May 30, 2011. Retrieved May 30, 2011. 
  11. ^ abSiegel, Robert, "Stephen Daldry Discusses New Movie", interview with Daltry, All Things Considered, NPR, December 20, 2011. Audio only. Retrieved 2011-12-20.
  12. ^Fleming, Mike (December 15, 2010). "'Jeopardy!' Wiz Kid Lands Lead in WB Movie". Deadline.com. PMC. Archived from the original on October 22, 2011. Retrieved May 26, 2011. 
  13. ^Kit, Borys (January 3, 2011). "EXCLUSIVE: John Goodman Joining Sandra Bullock, Tom Hanks in 'Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close'". The Hollywood Reporter. Prometheus Global Media. Archived from the original on June 6, 2011. Retrieved May 26, 2011. 
  14. ^ abBamigboye, Baz (January 21, 2011). "Hold the Botox! I'd rather grow old gracefully, says English eccentric Helena Bonham Carter". Daily Mail. London: Associated Newspapers Ltd. Archived from the original on October 22, 2011. Retrieved May 26, 2011. 
  15. ^Tapley, Kristopher (October 21, 2011). "Alexandre Desplat tapped for 'Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close'". HitFix. Archived from the original on October 23, 2011. Retrieved October 22, 2011. 
  16. ^"Star Cut From Movies". Yahoo! Lifestyle. Yahoo!. Retrieved 26 September 2013. 
  17. ^"Na gut, reden wir übers Küssen". Tagesspiegel (in German). 2012-03-27. Retrieved 2012-12-10. 
  18. ^ abcdGilchrist, Todd (December 20, 2011). "Stephen Daldry Talks Asperger's, Depicting 9/11 In 'Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close,' And The Oscars". Indiewire. Retrieved March 20, 2012. 
  19. ^ abcKahn, Joseph P. (January 25, 2012). "Autism gaining greater visibility in films, TV". The Boston Globe. Archived from the original on January 27, 2012. Retrieved March 20, 2012. 
  20. ^"New York Production Listings". Backstage. Prometheus Global Media. June 23, 2011. Archived from the original on October 22, 2011. Retrieved June 25, 2011. 
  21. ^Hedlund, Patrick (May 16, 2011). "LES is Backdrop for Post-9/11 Film 'Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close'". DNAinfo.com. Archived from the original on May 30, 2011. Retrieved May 30, 2011. 
  22. ^Giardina, Carolyn (April 14, 2011). "Cinematographer Roger Deakins Switching From Film to Digital Camera". The Hollywood Reporter. Prometheus Global Media. Archived from the original on October 22, 2011. Retrieved October 22, 2011. 
  23. ^"Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close Park Locations". Central Park Sunset Tours. Retrieved March 12, 2013. 
  24. ^Tapley, Kristopher (September 28, 2011). "In 'Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close,' could Max Von Sydow finally win an Oscar...for a silent performance?". HitFix. Archived from the original on October 22, 2011. Retrieved October 22, 2011. 
  25. ^Fleming, Mike (August 3, 2011). "Warner Bros Sets Its Oscar Season Dance Card". Deadline.com. PMC. Archived from the original on October 22, 2011. Retrieved August 3, 2011. 
  26. ^Gritten, David (October 18, 2011). "War Horse is a weepie". The Daily Telegraph. London. Archived from the original on October 22, 2011. Retrieved October 22, 2011. 
  27. ^"Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close (2012)". Rotten Tomatoes. Flixster. Retrieved 15 April 2014. 
  28. ^"Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close Reviews". Metacritic. CBS Interactive. Retrieved December 24, 2011. 
  29. ^Sharkey, Betsy (December 23, 2011). "'Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close' review: Eloquence in loss". Los Angeles Times. Tribune Company. Archived from the original on December 25, 2011. Retrieved December 25, 2011. 
  30. ^Peyser, Andrea (January 19, 2012). "Extremely, incredibly exploitive". New York Post. 
  31. ^Howell, Peter (December 22, 2011). "Review: Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close exploits a tragedy". Toronto Star. Star Media Group. Archived from the original on December 25, 2011. Retrieved December 25, 2011. 
  32. ^"Phoenix Film Critics Society 2011 Awards". Phoenix Film Critics Society. Archived from the original on January 12, 2012. Retrieved January 22, 2012. 
  33. ^"Oscar Nomination Reactions and Analysis". Archived from the original on January 12, 2014. Retrieved March 13, 2012. 
  34. ^Brooks, Xan (February 23, 2012). "Oscars 2012: Is Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close the worst best picture nominee ever? | Film". The Guardian. London. Retrieved 2012-07-07. 
  35. ^"Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2014-10-29. Retrieved 2014-01-12. 
  36. ^"Chris Krapek: Extremely Loud Oscar Angst". Huffingtonpost.com. February 22, 2012. Retrieved 2012-07-07. 
  37. ^"Is Extremely Loud the Worst-Reviewed Oscar-Nominated Movie in History?". Pastemagazine.com. 2012-01-25. Retrieved 2012-07-07. 
  38. ^Gritten, David (January 27, 2012). "Oscars 2012: The mystery of the ninth Oscar nomination for best film". The Daily Telegraph. London. Retrieved 2012-07-07. 
  39. ^Bierly, Mandi. "Academy Award nominations: Why 9 Best Pic nominees? | Inside Movies | EW.com". Insidemovies.ew.com. Retrieved 2012-07-07. 
  40. ^Chaney, Jen (2012-01-24). "Oscar nominations 2012: Did the best picture change make a difference? – Celebritology 2.0". The Washington Post. Retrieved 2012-07-07. 
  41. ^"Oscars 2012: Are the new Best Picture rules a failure?". The Week. Retrieved 2012-07-07. 
  42. ^"Oscar Nomination Reactions and Analysis Question 6". Archived from the original on January 12, 2014. Retrieved March 13, 2012. 

External links[edit]

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