Marcus Teipel: Answers to the interview Market, lies and websites.

Interview  /  Debates   Artists   MarcusTeipel   CriticalThinking
Published: 03.01.2007
Marcus Teipel Marcus Teipel
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After questioning pyramid structures we achieve new areas: it’s always positive and natural to question existing mechanisms.
>> Answers to the interview Market, lies and websites: Klimt02 versus Klimt02 (Part 1) 

Is the contemporary jewellery a restricted matter of a small group of people?
Yes, in all aspects, from creation to commercialisation. I believe it’s always very positive to leave these circles; it should be an aim to reach an audience and have a discussion outside of contemporary jewellery circles. It is an aim for me to get to an unknown group of people which surprises each other mutually with the creators. I never liked these self celebrators, neither in the field of jewellery nor in any other field, but I have to admit that we always encounter such self-celebration and not only where jewellery is concerned.

The relationship between jewellers and art galleries is of mutual necessity, but the jeweller seems to be dissatisfied. When must the jeweller consider a new relationship? Why don’t new alternatives emerge? Is it perhaps the incapacity to reach a new agreement or is it just that deep down jewellers have adapted to things as are now?
I recommend In The Same Boat, by Peter Sloterdijk.

It could be that there are jewellers who are content with their deal and don’t want to change. I only work with galleries, shops and jewelleries where there is a clear and mutual relationship, both commercial and ideological. They have to understand my work and would have to have a mutual interest in making, planting and projecting things together. I don’t agree with To Pa Mi Saco (everything for my sac, by a Spanish rapper La Mala Rodriguez), instead I feel that there has to be equality, without converting myself into a financier of the shop or gallery, I do invest in myself which is complicated enough. As I said before we are in the same boat. I think it’s a shame to just be working only to be exhibiting pieces on a sale and return basis, which hurts all of us. 

In the free information age, Internet, gallery owners have lost their power situation as anyone has access to all kind of information that had been treasured as if it was gold dust. When will we believe that we are the only ones that can make possible a change? Is it perhaps, the responsibility that each one has the only way of changing some situations?
Nobody loses anything on the internet, maybe in music and pornography, but I find selling jewels by internet quite difficult, whether contemporary or not. Ultimately jewellery has to be seen and touched; it is very physical. The internet opens spaces and ways of seeing, and obliges to organize concepts of creators and galleries if they have any. The .com-era is starting to have serious problems and the .nets and .orgs create a new format which is already in movement. The Internet obliges you to organize yourself and your thoughts if you want to present them on the internet.

We are waiting for a saviour, to save us from our ills; a person who stands up for us while we are lagging behind. When will we realize that in order to achieve these changes we will have to start taking decisions and changing attitudes?
The victimisation doesn’t serve anybody.

Is it a question of professionalism?
Of course, the freedom of questioning and provoking and taking a stand in all senses, even the commercial ones is fundamental, in order to grow with others and with their work.

We accept the established order, but we do not agree with it… What’s wrong?
I believe in everyday work, the positive and negative experiences. One may have a perfect idea, but you have to execute it. In many cases, it’s hard and slow work, different steps here and there, and trying not to lose the aim which could also change. You yourself are an example of that. In your case we would need days, even weeks to find all the information, even though there is more and it is available. After questioning pyramid structures we achieve new areas: it’s always positive and natural to question existing mechanisms.

Contemporary jewellery moves in a rather limited market, for many reasons including the fact that it does not move a large amount of money. The issue would be to enlarge this market… but, how can we do it?
Yes it is elitist, and I also form a part of that. But I also have to admit that without these schools and people such as (Puig-Cuyàs, Jünger, Zellweger etc) which have banked or relied on this medium, there would neither be the creators of today nor the consumers. Thanks to that kind of cultivating and those schools this perspective wouldn’t be here.

Here in Barcelona, we need awards, trade-fairs, and exhibitions which show new radical ideas like a mini-kassel's with a clear direction. Then, maybe we could see some changes in understanding and creating as we have in the art world. i.e. the espai13 or Caixa Montcada, which many years ago showed their own style and concept, changing even their old ideas, awards and showing clear direction, opposing commissioners with knowledge in their fields and who are not just interested in the usual artists.

Shops as the one in the Caixa Forum do more harm than good. They don’t show any clear ideas, in no sense. They don’t seem to have new politics, only those of old, nut no clear promotions exist i.e. in respect to contemporary jewellery, where those kinds of pieces could be shown in museum-shops. Barcelona has transformed itself into a dinosaur of art, although I respect Gaudí, Dalí, and others. In Barcelona there are a lot of things to appreciate a lot of jewellers who live and work in Barcelona, it should be updated. Friend’s games which I think are not funny at all. There are just a few shops or galleries which are updated. I only see that there are a few people and shops at the height of the moment, and that the media for realising these wishes are missing. Only with these initiatives can I see a possibility to start and improve contemporary jewellery, as in reality there is no difference between art and jewellery.

I know very well that it is a lot to ask for and that it is very difficult to sort out these messy politics and I hope there will be other criteria for a professional relationship.

Then there are higher values: whilst in Germany, the jewellery council which controlled the workshops and the market are slowly dissolving, here in Catalonia the Col.legi de Joiers de Catalunya, the first of its kind worldwide, was set up. They sell to us with closed perspectives and concentrically formed structures as if they were a product themselves. I find this absurdity perverse. The world in which we live opens politically, religiously, and commercially in all directions, we cannot compete with prices from Mexico, Thailand or other countries, which are near and yet so far away. If it is possible to create something new with our own strength we have a chance. These institutions want to persuade us that the market works according to these old laws. The power that this new jewellery will have will be the decentralisation and the personal mark in its work and its statement.

Why is contemporary jewellery not so well known?
Your website is one means of working towards recognition. We have to call attention through content. This is where each one has to do their work.

In Spain, designer labels are in vogue, but this concept doesn’t allow much in the work of an artist. I think we have to play a lot more with these forms, myself included. As I said before the .coms are more invalid. They repeat themselves and don’t have the capacity to revolutionize their own work; they remain mediocre and indifferent, just look at their products and their desperate need to find new ideas.

Why should girls wear earrings in the shape of bears, I don’t really understand that. I have a lot of respect for such absurd designs, but in reality, a bear is a dangerous and odious creature.

How is the market? If I sell, would that be enough for me?
It is very difficult to respond to this. I think one could say something with respect to Europe that things are in a crisis and will not wait to arrive in Spain. We live on what people like about our pieces and that they request new, non-established works. This is not always a question of price or concept, I think that few people “are well” as you ask, but I think that everyone has to be very clear and transparent about their work and their marketing.

Is the internet a solution? Should we pay for it?
Sometimes I have the feeling that jewellers don’t look beyond their own work. Everyone only concerns himself with his own work, this may never change, but I also believe that there is a certain seriousness about the work and transparency that unblocks this typical non-communication, which definitely exists. The internet changes nothing in that respect, but opens windows, perspectives and can give us a more ample vision. It seems important to me what it does and pretends to do in others in this and other aspects in other parts of the world, it can get closer, educate and open visions.

Information should be free. Where I think we should pay, is in the organisation and distribution of information, which is quite different.

In front of every computer is a person...

About the Interviewee

Marcus Teipel
Krefeld, Germany 1966. He studied jewelry at the Escola Massana in Barcelona, graduating in 1996. In 1996, together with other jewelers, he formed the collective AL Ras dedicated to commercial jewelry. Since 2000, he has been working on his own. He has participated in group and individual exhibitions in different cities.