Art between leisure and social responsibility

A symposium about jewelry theory – exciting or boring? It simply depends if one is into theory. The bilingual SchmuckDenken [thinking jewelry] symposium in Idar-Oberstein unites people willing to discuss: On Octobre 18th and 19th scientists and jewelry artists from Europe come together in order to reck their brains about the topic.

Anna Ameling, brooch Kampf der Dämonen (battle of demons), 2012. Silver, gilded copper, glass, lacquer, paper. Photo Cornelia Wruck.

Anna Ameling, brooch Kampf der Dämonen (battle of demons), 2012. Silver, gilded copper, glass, lacquer, paper. Photo Cornelia Wruck.


This year’s focus concentrates on arts between leisure and social responsibility. The thesis: Globalisation and the dramatisation of economic and ecologic crises created a new need for leisure and contemplation. Ideally this contemplative attitude is the source for creativity and a new awareness. Attentive and sustainable action is a potential positive consequence. As beautiful as this might sound, the negative result might be the retreat from problems.

How are such thoughts concerned with jewelry? On closer inspection very much. E.g. the artist who creates remote from any social context. He misses the chance to pick up relevant topics in his work and to assume responsibility in front of society – a function which he can by all means  fulfill.

So it is going to be about the territory between the opposing poles of aesthetics, responsibility and economy. Philosophers, psychologists, humanities scholars and jewelry artists give lectures e.g. entitled Aesthetic experience and the good life or A vision of homo economicus to homo aestheticus. For those who prefer less theory on the weekend, there will be the option to switch to exhibitions which will parallely take place. Giampaolo Babetto shows jewelry and drawings from 40 years, David Huycke presents objects and the Trier University uses the opportunity to exhibit works by students of the dept. of Gemstone and Jewellery.

Text Agata Waleczek

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