Sabine Runde on curating Schmuck 2019

Published: 03.03.2019
Dr. Sabine Runde Dr. Sabine Runde
Sabine Runde
Edited by:
Handwerkskammer für München und Oberbayern
Edited at:
Edited on:
Robert Baines. Pendant: Perception 5, 2017. Silver, electroplate, lacquer, granulation construction.. 7 x 9.4 x 1.2 cm. Photo by: Anton Jadrijevic. Robert Baines
Pendant: Perception 5, 2017
Silver, electroplate, lacquer, granulation construction.
7 x 9.4 x 1.2 cm
Photo by: Anton Jadrijevic
© By the author. Read Copyright.

Today, as reflected in the submissions and selection, jewellery has come to be a terrain with a strong potential to question conventional definitions and continually reinterpret existing conditions.

Over 750 submissions, the number alone is overwhelming, and at the same time it is an indicator of the significance of "Schmuck" (Jewellery) at the IHM as an International Crafts and Trades Show and as a platform for worldwide developments in the field of jewellery. Entrusting a single juror with the responsibility of making the selection, is an interesting feature of the event. Filled with great expectations, it was fascinating for me as curator to review the abundance of creative approaches and feel the energy of the ideas represented in "Schmuck", even in the illusory reality of photos (always a substitute for the real pieces) and under the conditions of what amounted to a selection marathon.
This form of art, jewellery, modern jewellery, artist's jewellery, author jewellery, a relevant designation is still lacking, has impressively developed since the second half of the 20th century in the general context of expanded definitions of art, and internationally established its claim to being an art in itself. Today, as reflected in the submissions and selection, jewellery has come to be a terrain with a strong potential to question conventional definitions and continually reinterpret existing conditions.
As a result of the continually expanding range of materials and techniques, values have shifted and everything, whether old or new, is at our disposal, can be rediscovered again and again, reshaped, and adapted to individual ideas. The most trivial things gain in glamour, value and meaning; the most valuable things, not only materials but investments of time and (hand) work, often become apparent only on close inspection; a highly elaborate presentation might be achieved in the simplest way; the most lucid and straightforward solutions might rest on high technology, I myself very much appreciate this shift in everything traditional and this approach to everything new and unfamiliar.
It is artistic intentions that find clear expression in the choice of a subject, a necklace, a broach, a ring, etc. Under the conditions of this subject, which imply certain connotations with respect to wearing or generate fantasies of wearing, individual conceptions develop. Jewellery is nourished by the form and visual properties and other implications of the materials, which are articulated in the specific character of the metals employed, or, in other materials, by their derivation or previous history that contain potentials for a narrative. These contribute to the final configuration in an interplay with individual approach, in which various working techniques are applied. These means, employed consciously and with skill, serve especially to produce an effect, a performance, and generate a range of sensory experiences over and above the focus on a certain theme.
One can categorize the various approaches here in groups, discover different or related approaches, and, despite worldwide networking, detect regional languages. Unmistakably, these pieces reflect the world we live in. Yet beyond this, in the continually redefined context of "Jewellery", they evoke an image of the possibilities and the freedom of art, which it is our responsibility to defend, over and over again.

About the author

Dr. Sabine Runde has been academic associate at the Museum Angewandte Kunst, Frankfurt am Main (DE) since 1983. Today, as senior custodian and curator, the art history, archaeology and cultural anthropology graduate is head of the European Department, Middle Ages to the Present. Her work includes curating exhibitions, publishing catalogues, writing papers and giving lectures as well as jury and teaching duties.
She studied art history, archaeology and folklore as well as cultural anthropology and European ethnology in Würzburg and Frankfurt am Main. She graduated in 1982 under Harald Keller on ‘The development of figurative child gravestones from the Middle Ages to the end of the High Renaissance’. Her curatorial work is programmatically oriented towards craftsmanship and applied art. Fundamental to this is the exploration of artistic practices, such as the question of material and technique as a medium of artistic expression.