KORU 6: a triennial of contemporary jewellery
KORU is a triennial of contemporary jewellery that has been a recurring event in Finland for several years now. Already experiencing its the sixth edition, headquartered in Imatra, this international event’s main objective is exhibiting contemporary jewellery at large scale, while bringing together artists, speakers, researchers and people interested in contemporary jewellery to participate in the exhibitions, seminars and workshops.
Divided into three exhibitions prepared for the event, happening in different Finnish cities, a significant number of artists and jewellers participated in this meeting, mostly from the Nordic and Baltic countries, with Portugal represented by Cristina Filipe and Manel Vilhena.
I’m of the opinion that we need a world capable of combining art and contemporary jewellery. I approach the world of contemporary jewellery, trying to set it as a discursive arena, as a sensing device, as a world of symbolic reasons that disclose symbolic and reflective aesthetic experiences. I recognize that contemporary jewellers offer us symbols that communicate something intentionally, through rhetorical tropes and layers of different meanings. There are a priori reasons to have life as a contributor to this discursive atmosphere. We must also interpret the meaning that jewels give to us, as a hermeneutical endeavour.
Nevertheless, right now, I will consider that the world of contemporary jewellery – where KORU and similar events are included – has been an institutional world for the most part, associated with galleries and museums that embrace or keep close relations within the same field, following protocols with a likewise logic. But this institutional world is not connected with a theoretical atmosphere. The theoretical reflection on contemporary jewellery, which is philosophical and critical above anything else, is seldom found. The jewellers, through their work, are the ones who contribute to the questioning of their own world.
As we speak, the world of contemporary jewellery is quite open – even if it is not the same – to the world of art, as Morgan describes (MORGAN, 1998). This author believes that, in the 80s, a world of art was established with an institutional nature, structuring itself as a social, political and economic company, maintaining a close connection with lobbies. The world of art is currently configured as a base, where art and artists find their livelihood to emerge. In a chain reaction logic – which Morgan assumes as global –, art itself has become a relevant piece of furniture, as a cultural commodity, irrelevant when it comes to reshaping the artistic discussion. For Morgan, this art gives us discourses framed by ideas and rhetorical fashion, sealed within a strict academical language.
These considerations make me think about the logic of the world of jewellery as something similar to the support community of an artist, as defined by Morgan in the 70s. Jewellers, their work and the transfigurations they suggest constitute the nucleus of this community, in which philosophical criticism is absent for the most part. In the field of contemporary jewellery, institutions are generally regarded as insiders of the community’s perimeter.
Therefore, and running the risk of speculating, I affirm that certain galleries and events like KORU are included in the same platform of meaning, where the hybrid nature of contemporary jewellery is understood.