Wednesday, June 3, 2009
I recently received my copy of the exhaustive 30lb.(!), 2400-page ' Compendium Finale of Contemporary Jewellers 2008', published by Darling Publishers of Berlin. I'm pleased to be featured in the two-volume opus, which was only possible via a nominating process (I was nominated by Jeannette Jansen from Germany). Pictured are the two pages I was allotted, as well as my nomination, included in the book in interesting fashion as an arterial 'tree' of nominations that spanned the globe.
From the press release:
As Bruce Metcalf explained to somebody during the making of the Compendium:
"It's true there's no overarching curatorial viewpoint - by design. Lim wanted to make the selection process more open & democratic than the usual methods used for an omnibus volume like this. That's why he put the power into the hands of the jewelers themselves. Why shouldn't jewelers be qualified to select other jewelers? They are no less expert than curators or writers. In effect, the book will show what jewelers think, collectively, about their own field. I think of the selection process as similar to a work of conceptual art. Lim set up a structure, and then let it operate like clockwork. No doubt there will be dogs, but there will also be surprises. Think of it as an exhibition with 1000 curators. You have to be elected first. Lim makes no exceptions to this rule; he has been quite firm about it. Nobody can offer to write a check and thus be accepted. Certain notable jewelers have demanded exceptions to the rules, and Lim refused. Those notables - and there are two that he told me about - then refused to participate. Lim did not relent. I admire the integrity with which he has protected the selection process. To be credible, the structure has to be incorruptible.
There‘s also an element of chaos that Lim designed into the book. Every jeweler is in charge of designing their own pages, and every invited jeweler gets two pages. What‘s fascinating is that everybody gets two sides of a single page - no facing pages. That means every jeweler is thrown cheek-by-jowl against two others, in alphabetical order. A clockwork system that produces chance encounters... and nobody can exercise control! I don‘t know about you, but I think that‘s pretty great. Very subversive of the jewelerly demand for control. Very Duchampian."
The book was unveiled in mid-March at the prestigious Schmuck 2009 in Munich, to much buzz. It was hand-bound in an edition of 1500 - 1044 went to the artists in the book, the remainder being available for purchase by museums, libraries and the undaunted jewelry fanatic (I'm guessing the $US835.00 price tag will keep it off Amazon...).
Click here to download my pages in the book.