A Bent Nail as an Intransigent Idea (A Polemic) by Bernhard Schobinger

Workshop  /  Making   CriticalThinking  /  16 Oct 2020  -  18 Oct 2020
Published: 06.04.2020
Bernhard Schobinger. Ring: Nagel-Ring, 2012. Whitegold, quartz. Bernhard Schobinger
Ring: Nagel-Ring, 2012
Whitegold, quartz
© By the author. Read Copyright.

What remains for me to do, in the light of this immense, interchangeable arbitrariness?
In his book Against Method, published in 1975, Paul Feyerabend postulated the theory of method anarchy: Anything Goes! In the same era, the punk wave arose, bringing with it a transformation of the aesthetic paradigm which also affected other spheres of life. Anything goes! Why not walk at red? Why not stop at green?! (Der Plan, Düsseldorf). In the early days, the subcultural dynamics of this “movement”, as it was known, were subjected to immense social resistance which one cannot underestimate, threatening its very existence.
What has followed on from this, however, after a considerable distance in time, is that commerce is now increasingly discovering the creative potential of the avant-garde. Ideas have been occupied, domesticated and managed. The breaking of taboos has become socially acceptable through to its furthest reaches.
So what now, when all borders are crossed and all obstacles are removed, and all is possible and permitted?
Every Man is an Artist. / Beuys

This immense “anything goes” arbitrariness is both real and global; everything created in the name of “art” (jewellery) holds the same value and is of equal worth; the work eludes all objective assessment and, in turn, criteria regarding artistic quality falls into obsolescence, creative workshops become démodé, and skill follows suit.
What remains for me to do, in the light of this immense, interchangeable arbitrariness?
I find the road back to the imperatives, to conclusiveness, to the object that is able to explain itself without recourse to academic and esoteric significance: That is simply TRUE. A bent nail is a bent nail is a bent nail!
It is made of white gold, so attentively observed and created that it would be thrown out without a second’s thought were it not for the awareness of its material (gold) and immaterial (skill) value.
And, as if by chance, it slips onto the finger with the greatest of ease. Contrary to the constraints of form follows function, it seems to me that the variability of the theme has no limits in its provocation to the creative.

/ Bernhard Schobinger

Date: 16. October - 18. October 2020.
Course languages: German, English.
Timing: Friday: 4 pm – 9 pm, Saturday: 11 am – 7 pm, Sunday: 10 am – 5 pm.
Workshop fees: CHF 500 (Course material is included in the cost. Metal is charged separately. Tools are available. Students are entitled to a 10 % discount. A discount is offered if more than one workshop is booked).
Participants: maximum of 8.
Subscription: up to two weeks before the workshop begins.
Advance payment: half of the workshop fee.

About the teacher:
Bernhard Schobinger started to produce in 1968, after having attended the School of Applied Arts in Zurich for two years, followed by Goldsmith's apprenticeship between 1963 and 1967. Throughout his career as an art jeweler, Schobinger has blurred the lines between applied and fine arts. His esthetic echoes Concrete art mainly under the influence of Max Bill, Punk culture of the 70s, Italian arte povera and Neo-Dada. Schobinger has been invited as a visiting lecturer in a number of Universities and Academies, including the Royal College of Art in London, Hiko Mizuno College of Jewelry in Tokyo, the Rhode Island School of Design.  His work was rewarded with the Françoise van den Bosch Award in 1998 and the Swiss Federal Design Award in 2007.
Often playing with contrasts, Schobinger's single pieces are made of material which varies greatly from recycled objects and pieces inherited from his mother to precious metals and gemstones.
Bernhard Schobinger. Ring: Sägenring, 2015. Steel, bronze, enamel. Bernhard Schobinger
Ring: Sägenring, 2015
Steel, bronze, enamel
© By the author. Read Copyright.
Bernhard Schobinger.
Bernhard Schobinger

© By the author. Read Copyright.