More than ten Dutch jewelry designers are participating in ‘Multiple Exposures, Jewelry and Photography‘ at the Museum of Arts and Design in New York, the first museum exhibition to explore how contemporary jewelry artists transform and add new meaning to the pervasive images of this digital age. Drawing inspiration from historic daguerreotypes to manipulated digital images, international jewelry artists explore changing views of beauty and the human body; examine social, political, and cultural issues; probe perceptions of memory and desire; and question the broader relation of jewelry to society and personal identity, issues central to the contemporary experience.
More than 80 renowned artists from over 20 countries are represented—including Dutch jewelry designers Gijs Bakker, Celio Braga, Peter Deckers, Jantje Fleischut, Herman Hermsen, Iris Nieuwenburg, Ruudt Peters, Gabriela Sanchez, Mecky van den Brink, Truike Verdegaal and Hilde de Decker.
Gijs Bakker, ‘Waterman’, brooch (1991). Collection of Angela Schaefer, photo: Thomas van der Heijden
Celio Braga, ‘Golden Boys Collection/Silver Boys Collection’, strings, colliers, 2010-2011, courtesy of the artist
The connection between photography and jewelry extends back more than 150 years to the invention of the photographic process. The exhibition will provide historical context for this evolving relationship by presenting outstanding nineteenth-century pieces, many of which have never before been exhibited. In recent years, both photography and art jewelry have changed dramatically, and the exhibition will present cutting-edge videos and installations that will provide viewers a broader perspective of contemporary jewelry now.
The exhibition is loosely organized around the following thematic threads: Identity and Representation, in which artists push the boundaries of portrait jewelry using images of family and friends, the celebrated and notorious, as well as anonymous individuals whose histories have been lost in time; The Body, featuring the changing concepts of beauty and imperfection of the human form as well as its interior; Landscape, architecture and their symbolic content; Appropriation, in which artists hijack and transform iconic imagery from the fine arts and popular culture as a way to comment on contemporary concerns; Tributes to cameras and photographic paraphernalia, featuring the imaginative and unexpectedly wearable pieces of jewelry created from dismantled camera components; and finally Jewelry Beyond the Object—its social and cultural significance beyond function and conventions—expressed through cutting-edge videos and photographs.
Context for the contemporary pieces in the exhibition is provided by 19th-century photo-jewelry featuring Daguerreotypes, ambrotypes, and tintypes, as well as trench jewelry from the First and Second World Wars, many exhibited for the first time.