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About curating. Bianca Cappello interviewed by klimt02

Published: 14.12.2018
Bianca Cappello, photo by Marco Brinati. Bianca Cappello, photo by Marco Brinati.
Author:
Bianca Cappello
Edited by:
Klimt02
Edited at:
Barcelona
Edited on:
2018
.

© By the author. Read Klimt02.net Copyright.

Intro
In my opinion, to be a freelance curator means could choose freely the projects to work on. To be multitasking means to give a homogeneous and recognizable character to the different aspects of the project organization.

Interview part of the Serie under the title Selecting: Communicating Knowledge.
 

Versione Italiana - Italian version      View / hide description

What is the main function of a curator?
The main function of a curator is to connect the various aspects of a critic thought that means to coordinate concepts, people and tangible elements due to transform it in a usable experience. The jewellery culture is a wonderful field of study because it is transverse through many disciplines and for me, this curatorial work is particularly exciting due to its challenge.


Curator first came into use as meaning overseer, however in the 21st century, a curator is probably best known as a ‘multitasked’ for an exhibition, what do you consider yourself in this position as a freelancer?
In my opinion, to be a freelance curator means could choose freely the projects to work on. To be multitasking means to give a homogeneous and recognizable character to the different aspects of the project organization.

 
  • Though the curatorial work lives in a social and cultural shared flux, by the other hand each curator works with its own expressive tools and professional capabilities that define the curatorial point of view, the quality and the expressive method of the final result.


How has the work of a curator changed in the last years?
I think that we can't generalize talking about the curatorial role because of this job, the way to approach it and the final result depend by the personality of each curator. Though the curatorial work lives in a social and cultural shared flux, by the other hand each curator works with its own expressive tools and professional capabilities that define the curatorial point of view, the quality and the expressive method of the final result.


Bianca Cappello, exhibition preparation.


What is the favourite / dislike part of your work?
I love every kind of research around jewellery and I believe that my university studies in Art History and Decoratives Arts are fundamental to have a scientific approach with a strong foundation that permits to create links and to deal with transversal disciplines across time and space. My passion for jewellery research gives me the possibility to develop further degrees of specializations around the jewellery materials and its techniques through time.
In this period in which is particularly difficult to share the appearance from the substance, I particularly appreciate the possibility to realize cultural contests and try to communicate them clearly at the insiders as the large public. 
I could define me a studious and the economic research could be the aspect of my job that I less appreciate. Thus when I am able to communicate the value of a project obtaining the sponsor's enthusiasm I get a lot of satisfaction.

 
  • I am convinced that the study, the research and going deeper in the knowledge are the fundamental parts of the curatorial work. I am loving to go deeper the knowledge of the jewellery field and this discipline gifts a various range of researches.


Regarding the curatorial process, how does an idea usually start for an exhibition? And how do you develop it?
I am convinced that the study, the research and going deeper in the knowledge are the fundamental parts of the curatorial work. I am loving to go deeper the knowledge of the jewellery field and this discipline gifts a various range of researches. Many ideas born together in my mind and as seeds finding good conditions, at the right moment each idea finds the right ground to grow and transform itself in a complex curatorial project that arrives till to become an exhibition or a volume.


Bianca Cappello, the opening of the exhibition wearing beauty the great Italian costume jewellery. Italian culture institute in Beograd.


An exhibition, event, meeting... that has impressed you specially?
I get excited when I find the excellence that for me is the point of conjunction between many values as message, technique and material art. This year I find this sensation visiting the exhibition The Moghul Treasure, the Al-Thani collection edited by Amin Jeffer and Gian Carlo Calza, when it was located in the amazing Palazzo Ducale in Venice. I returned 3 times enjoying the details, the perfection, the light that makes the true beauty. I would also mention the exhibition Jewelry, the body transformed edited by Melanie Holcomb at the Metropolitan Museum in New York. I returned there 2 times and I was astonished by the quantity and quality of the selected jewellery pieces that just really few museums in the world could be able to have and show.

 
  • Curating contemporary jewellery means to work on living people and their present thought.


How do you feel curating contemporary jewellery?
Curating contemporary jewellery means to work on living people and their present thought. It is an interesting curatorial role because means to have a good feeling inside the flow of the present time and a detached view, deep inside the situation with a high overview.


Member of the jury in the Amber Contemporary Jewellery Contest - Kaliningrad Museum of Amber, photo by Igor Sosedko.


What do you think is the most interesting thing that you helped to make happen?
Thus my work regarding fine jewellery and precious materials, I found a great interest in the expressive capabilities of the material in jewellery despite their commercial value. By this way, I am proud to contribute on the diffusion of the paper jewellery history editing an exhibition in Triennale Museum in Milan (2009) and perfecting the contents in the later publication Precious Paper, the Paper Jewellery Design (Skira 2017). Around the paper argument, I also worked many years with several Academies of Fine Arts and Universities in Italy curating the projects Fashion in Paper and Fashion in Fiber Recovery with the collaboration of several public and private bodies from 2010 to 2013.

Following the same ideas I am proud to contribute at the valorization and diffusion of the knowledge around the Italian costume jewellery with various exhibitions for public bodies in Italy and foreign, and publications as Italian Fashion jewellery in the 50s and 60s (Corraini 2014), Wearing Beauty the Great Italian Costume Jewellery (Sillabe 2015), The History of Italian Costume Jewellery (Skira 2016), Il Gioiello nel Sistema Moda (Skira 2017), Corbella, the first Italian Manufacturer of Jewellery and Weapons for Theatre (Silvana editorial 2018) and various monographs on these arguments.

Due to the interest around functional aspect of jewellery, for the 2014-2016 biennal exhibition of the Jewellery Museum in Vicenza I curated  the Jewel&Function Room (Marsilio 2014) and the volume History of  the Buckle between Fashion and Jewellery, 1700-1950 (Skira 2018).

My enthusiasm and my professionality helped to create, enlarge and valorize some institutional jewellery collection in Italy as the Cominelli Foundation where, in 2010 in collaboration with AGC Associazione Gioiello Contemporaneo, I have curated the 1st nucleus of the contemporary jewellery collection, the Jewellery Museum in Vicenza which I was the curatorial coordinator for the 1st biennial collection, and the Museo del Bijou in Casalmaggiore where I have curated several exhibitions in the last years.


Lecture at Kaliningrad Amber Museum, photo by Igor Sosedko.


What has been your most memorable response by a colleague to an artwork shown in an exhibition curated by you?
Sincerely I am feeling lucky with my job and I am grateful for it every day: when I could see a light in the eyes of my students during a lesson and when, after years, I discover that they have their artistic and professional satisfaction and they remembered about my teaching on jewellery. When after an exhibition opening or the presentation of a book I receive messages from unknown people that are happy because thanks to my work they understand a bit better the jewellery world or they are fallen in love with its culture. Once, a really old lady, without knowing that I was the curator of the exhibition she was visiting, told me that she was feeling like Alice in Wonderland! When without expecting, I receive a message from a friend that advise me to watch the tv because a national program is talking about my project...surely these are wonderful satisfactions but sincerely my greatest honour is to have the possibility to make the job I love and I am convinced that public appreciation is just a consequence. Despite every exhibition and publication receiving positives professional critics, every time I feel grateful for the incredible affection expressed.


Opening exhibition Ornella Bijoux, a master of fantasy jewellery in Italy, Arengario, Monza.

 
  • For me, the maximum prize is to collaborate with professionals which I appreciate and estimate because with them every day I could improve my knowledge and I could be sure to construct shared projects to enlarge culture around jewellery.


The curatorial project you could never make up?
I believe that the true luxury to be a freelance curator is that I can choose every time the people which whom I desire to collaborate. For me, the maximum prize is to collaborate with professionals which I appreciate and estimate because with them every day I could improve my knowledge and I could be sure to construct shared projects to enlarge culture around jewellery.
In general, I have some reserves to work in projects without substance just following the self-congratulation. Due to that, I do not like to work on a project when I am not sure to have enough time as it is necessary to guarantee the right cultural value.
I'm doing the curator job because I wish to be useful in some way and I believe that to be the curator of exhibitions and books is an honour and also a great responsibility.
 

About the Interviewee

Bianca Cappello, historian and jewellery critic. She is a teacher of History of Costume Jewellery and Jewellery Semiotic at IED in Milan and teacher of Jewellery History at Galdus professional goldsmithing school in Milan. She coordinates and curates lessons and seminars around the jewellery fields for public Art academies, universities and museums; in addition to this, she writes for various publications on her specialties. She curates jewellery exhibitions for museums and public bodies and is the curatorial consultant for museum collections. She is a member of the Society of Jewellery Historians in London. She lives in Milan.

 
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