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Interview with CURRENT OBSESSION

Interview  /  Behind the ScenesCurrent Obssesion
Published: 26.09.2014
Interview with CURRENT OBSESSION.
Author:
klimt02
Edited by:
klimt02
Edited at:
Barcelona
CO team: Linda Beumer, Sarah Mesritz, Anna Hennerdal, Marina Elenskaya.
CO team: Linda Beumer, Sarah Mesritz, Anna Hennerdal, Marina Elenskaya

© By the author. Read Klimt02.net Copyright.

Intro
Recently we’ve heard a brilliant phrase coming from a well-known publisher: ‘Magazine is an ultimate tool of promotion’. CO magazine helps introducing and defining contemporary jewellery as artistic practice to a larger public. It literally puts contemporary jewellery alongside design, art, architecture and fashion magazines in a store display.
How will you introduce yourself?
Marina Elenskaya + Sarah Mesritz: Hello, together with our fantastic art directors/graphic designers Linda Beumer and Anna Hennerdal we are the team behind CURRENT OBSESSION - contemporary jewellery magazine and platform discussing jewellery in the larger context of today’s visual culture.

Explain to us why CO magazine is a publication pushing the boundaries of Contemporary Jewellery?
CO:
It has to do with the way we approach jewellery. CURRENT OBSESSION is based on cross-discipline collaborations. We try to mix the ‘creative juices’ between jewellery and other disciplines: find common aspects, connections and future scenarios.
Collaborations also open new doors, get people excited about contemporary jewellery, at the same time offering a fresh perspective on what jewellery can be.


Talk to us about the editorial line, has it changed along the publication of the different issues?
CO:
Each issue focuses on one subject at a time, questioning what ‘archetype’, ‘youth’ or ‘fake’ are according to CURRENT OBSESSION. It’s a good way to sharpen the research and create a tangible ‘snapshot’ of the things taking place or relevant right now. One of our main interests is ‘giving a voice to the maker’ - direct conversations with artists via interviews or Socratic Dialogues . We are convinced that artists themselves are the ultimate source of ideas, but they sometimes need good questions that can sparkle inspiring thoughts and trigger artists to share their vision.

Will you define CO as more than a magazine?
CO:
Recently we’ve heard a brilliant phrase coming from a well-known publisher: ‘Magazine is an ultimate tool of promotion’. CO magazine helps introducing and defining contemporary jewellery as artistic practice to a larger public. It literally puts contemporary jewellery alongside design, art, architecture and fashion magazines in a store display.
But generating a buzz around contemporary jewellery online and in print is only a part of what we are trying to do. The core of CURRENT OBSESSION – cross-disciplinary collaborations – can take many forms: We have already done and planning to do more projects like performances, editorial photoshoots, happenings, etc. Quite a few things are coming up: One of them is an invitation to curate a programme for the Zimmerhof Symposium 2015. We chose The Way Of The Future as a theme, dedicating the symposium to cross-disciplinairy collaborations and possible future scenarios for contemporary jewellery.
Also we are, of course, looking forward to see everyone at Schmuck Week 2015, for which we will produce a new edition of CURRENT OBSESSION PAPER, a publication entirely dedicated to events happening in Munich. We are adding a little twist to it this year, so keep an eye on our updates.


Tell us about your background and the decision of creating CO.
Marina: A
fter graduating in Media Direction in Russia in 2005, I became interested in applied arts, which lead me to a 3-year program at Alchimia Contemporary Jewellery School in Florence. I continued my studies at the Jewellery Department of the Gerrit Rietveld Academy, Amsterdam, graduating 2011.
While working on my thesis at the Rietveld I discovered a lack of inspiring and challenging texts coming directly from the artists, so I conducted three interviews with makers, who, I felt, had something meaningful to say: Volker Atrops, Manfred Bischoff and Ulrich Reithofer. The content generated by these three talks inspired me immensely: It was the kick that started CURRENT OBSESSION. First it materialized as a website with featured projects and interviews and later continued as a printed magazine in 2013.


Sarah: My first education is in Communication and Advertising. In 2008 I graduated from the jewellery department of the Academy of Fine Arts in Maastricht. 2008-2010 I worked at the Red Light Design project in Amsterdam.
I went on exploring my work in New York in 2010 and later started my own commercial jewellery label SMJD.
Marina and I talked about making a publication that would connect contemporary jewellery with fashion and art for some time, so when she approached me in 2012 about becoming partners and making CURRENT OBSESSION magazine together, I was happy to join in.


Why the magazine format (printed paper)?
CO:
Choosing to make a printed magazine seemed like a natural ‘next step’ after the website. Magazine format in itself has very interesting connotations: It is a collectible item and it is regularly recurring, so it is something to look forward to as a reader. It has great tactile qualities. There is a beautiful temporality to it, a kind of light-heartedness compared to a book. Yet it has urgency, it is a statement and a responsibility compared to an online post.

 Do you have any references that are a guide for you on your daily work?
CO:
Yes, those are online and offline platforms dedicated to contemporary design, art, culture and politics. We follow several blogs too. Twitter and Facebook are good to stay up-to-date.
The fascination with printed matter grew with the job, so now we are obsessed with collecting both independent and bigger magazines, small-edition artist publications, posters, prints, etc.
In general we like to browse and travel, visit exhibitions, collect things online and offline, and once a we feel that a certain subject is becoming of interest to CO, we start actively dig and research it.


How the contributors are chosen to collaborate? Do they work on a regular basis at CO or you look for different voices depending on the different issues?
CO:
This job dictates to stay open-minded and flexible: Hearing each other’s ideas, trusting each other’s opinion and working through disagreements is the spirit of true collaboration. We don’t like giving up and stopping halfway.
Of course, the aspects of ‘giving’ and ‘letting’ someone into one’s process and thoughts can be very sensitive and challenging, but it always brings great rewards. There is no other way to collaborate.
We love working with the writer, blogger and maker Kellie Riggs. We also closely collaborate with Mariah Tuttle and Kamal Nassif, curators, makers and founders of X Collaborations. Great contributions to the magazine came from jewellery artists Aaron Patrick Decker, Adam Grinovich, Jing He and industrial design curator Matylda Krzykowski.

Of course, each new issue demands new rules and needs new voices. Essentially the magazine is a big group exhibition, where each work needs a space and a spotlight of its own, but also needs to make sense in the overall curatorial narrative.

Convince a reader of the importance of subscribe to CO.
CO:
Please, buy and support contemporary jewellery magazine CURRENT OBSESSION! It is a self-initiated young startup, which needs your love and help to grow!

A goal you would like to acquire?
CO:
The goal is the CURRENT OBSESSION "Factory", a place where contemporary jewellery exists in its active form, a place of making of ideas, events, discussions and collaborations. We see value in exploring art direction and curatorial projects, various production and pricing methods, alternative ways of infusing jewellery into other disciplines and ultimately finding new markets for it.

We wish to grow together with our community, so drop us a line if you wish to contribute or join in: magazine@current-obsession.com

References

(1) Socratic Dialogue is a form of group conversation in which participants follow strict common rules to formulate and examine a philosophical question. This method has proved to be an excellent tool to help finding ideas and associations that are uncommon and unusual for our granted train of though.
Launch of the #1 The Archetype Issue in Munich during Schmuck 2013.
Launch of the #1 The Archetype Issue in Munich during Schmuck 2013

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#1 The Archetype Issue, March 2013
. Photo credit: Linda Beumer 
. Graphic design: Anna Hennerdal & Linda Beumer.
#1 The Archetype Issue, March 2013
Photo credit: Linda Beumer
Graphic design: Anna Hennerdal & Linda Beumer

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#2 The Youth Issue October 2013. 
. Photo credit: Linda Beumer 
. Graphic design: Anna Hennerdal & Linda Beumer.
#2 The Youth Issue October 2013.
Photo credit: Linda Beumer
Graphic design: Anna Hennerdal & Linda Beumer

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CURRENT OBSESSION PAPER, March 2014 
. Photo credit: Linda Beumer 
. Graphic design: Anna Hennerdal & Linda Beumer.
CURRENT OBSESSION PAPER, March 2014
Photo credit: Linda Beumer
Graphic design: Anna Hennerdal & Linda Beumer

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Performance S.O.A.P.P. at the Arnhem Fashion Biannual 2013 in collaboration with Atelier Ted Noten.
Performance S.O.A.P.P. at the Arnhem Fashion Biannual 2013 in collaboration with Atelier Ted Noten

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Project The Exhibition That Never Happened. 
. Limited edition scarves. 
. In collaboration with Sagel and Krzykowski. Jewellery by Jing He.
Project The Exhibition That Never Happened.
Limited edition scarves.
In collaboration with Sagel and Krzykowski. Jewellery by Jing He

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Exhibition CRAFT & BLNG BLING - FAKE 
. Curated in collaboration with Depot Basel.
Exhibition CRAFT & BLNG BLING - FAKE
Curated in collaboration with Depot Basel

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Photo credit: CO for MATANDME by Matylda Krzykowski.
Photo credit: CO for MATANDME by Matylda Krzykowski

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#3 The Fake Issue. 
. Front cover by Lonneke van der Palen & BorisdeBeijer. 
. Back cover by Thomas Albdorf. 
. Buy this issue online.
#3 The Fake Issue.
Front cover by Lonneke van der Palen & BorisdeBeijer.
Back cover by Thomas Albdorf.
Buy this issue online

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CRAFT & BLING BLING - FAKE. 
. Work by Sophie Hanagarth, EdgarMosa
. .
CRAFT & BLING BLING - FAKE.
Work by Sophie Hanagarth, EdgarMosa

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CRAFT & BLING BLING - FAKE. 
. Work by Jing He, Mallory Weston.
CRAFT & BLING BLING - FAKE.
Work by Jing He, Mallory Weston

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True Fakes with Charlotte Van de Velde.
True Fakes with Charlotte Van de Velde

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Fake = Fearless with Pinar & Viola.
Fake = Fearless with Pinar & Viola

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Appropriators User Guide and A1 with Céline Manz.
Appropriators User Guide and A1 with Céline Manz

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I’m The Realest From The Fake by Isfrid Siljehaug.
I’m The Realest From The Fake by Isfrid Siljehaug

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