By Saskia van Es.
Mid March – the virus was in the news already – the annual jewellery week in Munchen took place. Despite cancellations there was still enough to see. Such as the remarkable performance ‘Passenger’, where I got on a van with a group of American jewellery makers. We passengers were allowed to take the pieces from the boxes while a story was being read. We wore blue gloves, part of the act of course. But I am sure I was not the only one on that van thinking of something medical.
At all exhibitions we kept distance, did not shake hands. But hey, all that colourful, shimmering or tactile jewellery. Before I knew it, I came too close to someone’s brooch again. I thought, what these days beg for, is repulsive jewellery. And that was also to be found in Munchen.
By Nicola Scholz I saw delicate jewellery, almost sketch-like. All the more powerful were the materials: led pellets, spider fangs or hemlock seeds. Exactly, the plant of the poisoned chalice Socrates had to drink. Perfect jewellery to issue a warning.
At another stop on the way, I saw an artist, Max Weisthoff, in a leather fetish outfit busy with small bells. Incessantly he sewed them on a doll that was an image of himself. As if he was an executioner or a jester, who with all that tinkling said: ‘watch out, I am close’.
The Suctus-brooches by Ruudt Peters were on display in Munchen as well. Every brooch holds a transparant piece of amber or coloured resin. Unapproachable they are. And with some of them it is wise to keep your distance. The orange is a lead compound and the red is the mineral cinnabar, mercury sulfide and extremely poisonous. It is a classic artist’s pigment and Ruudt Peters uses it for a reason. Workshop hands who had to mix the paint, got peculiar ailments. Earlier, Peters made a piece with the lead oxide on the outside. The gallery owner put a bell jar over it in the end. It is like the historical poison ring: it gives you the final say but it can turn against you. With Peters’s brooches there is only a small amount of polyester covering the danger.
Enough wearable things to threaten with. And how about all the colourful, shimmering or tactile pieces? By all means let’s wear those too, these days. On the inside of our coats.