Tools for beating

Blog post
Published: 15.09.2009
Broes van Iterson

A ‘parure’ is a set of various items of matching jewelry. It is modular and can be disassembled into different parts. ‘Tools for beating’ is such a parure, made by American Seth Papac. It consists of 5 individual pieces that can be worn separately or all together in their tool bracket around the waist:

‘White knuckle’, a necklace, to me refers to boxing, a western fight sport. At the two ends of the necklace hang oval silver strips, possibly meant to harden the contestants’ hands.
‘Strike’, also a necklace, looks like a pair of nunchaku’s, used in eastern fighting. To stay true to the tools theme, they are made out of steel and wood.
The brooch ‘Club’, a very long, stiff square tube, when worn, starts beating by itself. This is also the case when is attached to the tool bracket.
‘Clench’, a ring, has to be clenched to be worn on the fingers, so the hand forms a fist (for beating).
The last part of this parure is the ‘Empty tool bracket’, which is not actually empty. The leather belt holds a very well made, smooth, spatula- like, wooden shape. Just like the brooch club, it starts beating when worn, but ‘gives’ a totally different, more gentle, kind of beating.

To have a jewel committed to beating is one thing, but 5, even though they can be assembled into one, is a bit much. But the way these pieces are made, with carefully chosen materials and incredible skill, pushes the violent nature of the work to the background. For example, the necklace ‘White knuckle’, consists of white tape, used to tie tight around the contestants’ hands, but it is tied together and carelessly draped around one’s neck. And the material of the top plate of the ring ‘Clench’, steel, could refer to real knuckledusters, or to actual tools. On top of that, its’ shape does not remind of fighting at all. This is obviously also the case with ‘Club’, the brooch.

On top of this, the artist states that this toolset is meant for beating, a fictitious job or ritual to deal with the metaphorical cleansing of his body and not someone else’s! So a very personal piece this week.

Lucky me got to experience this work in reality at Gallery Caroline Van Hoek (member of Klimt02). It is exhibited there, with 2 more parures, until October 24th.

>> visit the complete Blog of Broes van Iterson.