pondelok 12. apríla 2010

SPERKSTRET 2008/ Related events / 6th Traveling symposium Bratislava

Miroslav Cogan
6th Travelling Symposium in Bratislava

When I arrived in the rainy autumn Bratislava my head was still full of fresh memories from the 20th anniversary symposium in Turnov, where an international community met again in July. The program included an extensive retrospective of the best jewellery from the collection of pieces that have been made at this symposium since 1984, and it was enriched by a new addition, a jewellery collection which shares its mutual underlying assumption with the Turnov event. If ideas could be smelled, it would have reminded you of the Mediterranean. The jewellery has been created at the Pyrenees peninsula, in the beautiful corners of Spain and Portugal, where the first Travelling Symposiums were held. We started it all with Sonia Ruiz Arkaute, in 2003, in the Basque town of Vitoria/Gasteiz and continued along the lines of the time-proven Turnov recipe – get to know the place, have exhibitions, presentations, workshop work and shared dinners, where we enjoyed sea food and other delicatessen in a friendly atmosphere.

One of the aims of the Travelling Symposium is to monitor how is the genius loci reflected in visual artwork, and also to promote contemporary author jewellery. That is why we decided to travel from a place to place. The second of our beautiful meetings was held in Lisbon, in 2004. It was prepared by Manuel Vilhena, Xana Lisboa and Tony Rosário. The amiable city and the closeness of the ocean created an unforgettable backdrop for our symposiums. One of the participants, Ana Campos, decided to continue this tradition in cooperation with the Museum of Gold (Museu do Ouro) in the north Portugese town of Travassos, particularly with its director Manuel Sousa. It was all happening in a small enclave with thousands of years of tradition in filigrane jewellery, surrounded by white granite houses with characteristic chimneys and massive fireplaces. The surrounding forests were black after a wave of fires. Next came Menorca, Sonia Arkaute found an ally in an art school in the seaport town Máo in 2006, where the old traditions of the Mediterranean civilization has melted with Spanish culture and imprints left by the British imperial dominance.

For now the last Travelling Symposium happened in 2007 in the Catalan town Vilafranca del Penedés. Our partner here, the art school, had a characteristic name: Arsenal. It complied with the idea that there should always be an explosion of new ideas detonated by new friends, new places and freedom without the stereotypical rituals of everyday life. The jewellery symposium became a part of their Days of Culture taking over the streets with jazz and wine. How would Bratislava hold up in this competition? Bratislava, where I helped invite foreign artists and where I was bringing the results and works from our previous Travelling Symposiums to present our first collective exhibition. I thought about the Slovak metropolis when we could not find enough funding to organize our symposium in Valencia; there was an eminent threat that the annual Travelling Symposium tradition would have to come to an end. To be honest I could not think about anyone, apart from my friends from the S+M+L_XL studio at the Academy of fine Arts (Vysoká škola výtvarných umení), who would be not only willing, but also have enough energy to organize such an event in such a short time. Everyone who is partaking at the ambitions program of the studio - professor and current rector Karol Weisslechner, Bety K. Majerníková, Maja Nepšinská and Matúš Cepka – have already been my guests in Turnov and we have been cooperating for a long time.

I was also looking forward to meet the participants themselves, as most of them are my friends. Bad weather caused that not only the southerners put on their winter coats, and it became impossible to roam through the Bratislava surroundings or the famous Devin castle. But it could not have slowed down the hectic nonstop ride between the openings of five jewellery exhibitions, our workshop, the conference prepared by curators Bety K. Majerníková and Maja Nepšinská, and the Bratislava night life. PhDr. Jana Burianová, the energetic director of the Czech Cultural Center, joined us this year and clicked right into our crazy ride. It was her Center who offered space to have our first Travelling Symposium jewellery exhibition (characteristically on plastic moving boxes) presented as a whole; with new additions acquired at the end, which we will talk about later. The jewellery treatment started on Tuesday 7 October with an exhibition in the Meteorit theater, where works from a summer symposium in Kremnica were presented. The curator Maja Nepšinska brought with her a fresh perspective and it seems that the merited Kremnica event will continue blooming. On Thursday we continued from our opening at the Czech Cultural Center to the Bratislava Castle, particularly to the gallery Nuée, to see the opening of the exhibition Interiors, which is a playful and inventive cooperation between the jeweller Hana H. Kašičkova with the sculptor Mirka Podmanicka. The last two exhibitions were in the academy building – a small scale monothematic exhibition Matej Bezúch 02 in the basement gallery Hit and an extensive retrospective exhibition of the jewellery pieces created in the S+M+L_XL studio called Golden Folder installed in the school’s gallery Medium; Both started simultaneously on 10 October. The PhD student Matej Bezúch installed portraits of political corpses since Stalin to the current establishment on improvised grave stones, and thus created a curious mix of grotesque and shivers. The great collective exhibition consisted of compiled works by the alumni, current students and the faculty and was accompanied by a catalogue depicting the works of almost 50 Slovak jewellers. It was impressive not only because of the number and quality of works or the range of visual expression, but mostly because of the accumulated energy of this artistic generation, or in other words energy of a school which holds great promises for the future of unique Slovak jewellery.

The works created at the 6th Travelling Symposium were not so much influenced by the city, but rather by the circumstances surrounding it, mostly the whole event and studio atmosphere, with all the attention focusing on contemporary civilization phenomena like the media. Gisbert Stach participated in this concept by creating a video documenting the process of creating chain necklaces, his model being Sonia Arkaute. And she was not only the model, she recorded the whole performance in her plastic necklace with a stylized figure falling under the weight of chains above which the colorful eye of the recorder evolves. Pavol Prekop created a video, where all of us participated, and put it on CDs adjusted to be jewellery. The metropolitan atmosphere suited Kepa Karmon’s concept of practical jewellery for the homeless well, and the same applies to the works of Deganit Stern Schocken, where the civilization’s waste is coexistent with plastic plant elements. Steffi Klemp, who among the foreign participants came to grow together with Slovak culture the most, kept creating her carved earrings and drapes from her favorite material - wood. The key to the lightly provocative necklace by Ulrich Reithofer, with its fragile looking crystal pearls and massive blue lapis was provided in his Jewellery Slam presentation full of spectacular pictures and funny animation and music. Martin Papcún, who left the symposium for a short time due to work duties in Italy, was the one with the shortest time to get to know Bratislava, but nonetheless he left here his standard space brooches reminding you of building blocks fragments. As it has already been said, the circumstance were not the best, thus the people could not grow to love the town and its surroundings or the most important cultural context. It is possible that the chilly Bratislava was not love on first sight. It would be hard to find any Bratislava echo in the created jewellery, but it does not change anything about the visual quality of the pieces. We, who had enjoyed nine days together and were able to watch the creation of the jewellery, feel that the pieces are an artistic documentary about unrepeatable meetings, situations and a unique atmosphere.

SPERKSTRET 2008/ Related events/ Exhibitions

There were also several exhibitions held as part of the Jewellery Slam SPERKSTRET’08 program.

-Travelling Symposium, jewellery exhibition
Czech centre, Bratislava
(This exhibition together with the author concept of Mira Podmanická a Hana Kašičková called Interiors, exhibited in the Nuée gallery (9 - 20 October 2008) were at the same time a part of the official opening for the 3rd international conference Jewellery Slam SPERKSTRET’08)

Travelling Symposium - exhibition
Travelling Symposium - exhibition
Travelling Symposium - exhibition
- Golden Folder, Jewellery exhibition of studio SMLXL Medium Gallery, Bratislava The most eye-catching event of Jewellery Slam ‘08 was the opening of the Golden Folder exhibition presenting works created at the S+M+L_XL studio of Metal and Jewellery in gallery Medium, combined with the introduction of a catalogue under the same name. The catalogue lists works by current students, alumni and the studio’s faculty. As the individual solitaire pieces and collections have diverse concepts and utilize different means of expression, the exhibition was executed so as to show the whole multispectral scene of Slovak jewellery making and at the same time created an inspirational dialogue with the exhibition of the Travelling symposium project held at the same time. The Golden Folder exposition included chosen author collections presented in various suitcases instead of glass cases, installed in order to create an atmosphere of a baggage depository
Golden Folder
Golden Folder
Matej Bezuch 02 - jewellery - PhD student at the S+M+L_XL studio at the Metal and Jewellery department, introduced his work at a solitaire exhibition in the HIT gallery
HIT Gallery Bratislava
Symposium Kremnica 2008, jewellery exhibition
Meteorit theatre gallery, Bratislava

SPEKSTRET 2008 Photoreport

Sperkstret 2008audience


Between Construction and Emotion

The aim of Jewellery Slam SPERKSTRET 2008 was to interconnect all lectures and discussions with a unifying theme, which would embrace the current way of thinking and direction in the field of jewellery making, thus the choice of invited lecturers was adjusted accordingly. In a two day long marathon of lectures with the topic Between Construction and Emotion 13 national and foreign lecturers interested in different trends were introduced.
Headliners of the program included a trio of professors associated with the field of architecture: Deganit Stern Schocken from Izrael, the department head of the Brtaislava S+M+L_XL studio of Metal and jewellery Karol Weisslechner and the head of the Prague Metal and Jewellery studio Eva Eisler (CZ).
Three striking authors dedicated to jewellery from the female perspective were: Sylvia Jokelová (SK), Stefanie Klemp (D), Bety K.Majerníková (SK).
Three jewellers with a markedly individual approach to creation were introduced: Gisbert Stach (D), Kepa Karmona (SP), Ulrich Reithofer (A).
The theoretical basis and curator practice were represented by: a Czech theorist and art historian Miroslav Cogan (CZ) and a co-ofounder of the Travelling Symposium project Sonia Ruiz de Arkaute from Spain, art and esthetics theorist Jozef Kovalčik (SK), jeweller and art theorist Mária Nepšinská (SK).

more about sperkstet 2008:

more about lecturers:
www.mono.de/en/the_brand_mono/designers/eva_eisler/index.html garaje.ya.com/pelutxinweb/

SPERKSTRET / little bit of history

The Jewellery Slam SPERSTRET tradition was initiated in October 2004 by prof. Karol Weisslechner (Head of metal and jewellery studio at the Accademy of fine arts and desing, Bratislava). First lecturers was the Dutch jeweller Rian de Jong, Peter Zimmerman from Austria, a former assistant from the Prague studio of Metal and Jewellery Petr Vogel, Czech jeweller Lída Šikolová, art theorist and the organizer of international jewellery symposiums from the Museum of Czech Paradise (Muzeum Českého ráje) in Turnov Miroslav Cogan, alumni of the S+M+L_XL studio of Metal and Jewellery Sylvia Jokelová and Lucia Oreská, who are the authors of the ZOOM project (jewellers from Austria and Slovakia participated) and the Slovak author Daniela Mládenková. One of the events accompanying the conference was an exhibition of the S+M+L_XL studio of Metal and Jewellery at the Academy of Fine Arts in Bratislava „What do you want SPY EYE...“ („SPY EYE čo chceš...“) in gallery Medium.

Two years later the event was held again. The lecturers included Theo Smeets, professor from our partner school in Idar Oberstein, Germany, sculptor and jeweller Peter Skubic from Austria, reputable Slovak art theorist Ágnes Schramm, Czech jeweller working in Austria Petr Dvořák, Jiří Urban – a Czech visual artist, designer and co-owner of a jewellery company specialized in work with Czech garnets, and an alumni of the Slovak Metal and Jewellery studio Jana Machatová. As a part of the conference a collaborative exhibition of students from the German Fachhochschule Edelstein und Schmuckdesign Trier and students from the S+M+L_XL studio at the Metal and Jewellery department at the VŠVU in Bratislava, was organized bearing the suitable title „Ex Change“ in the Medium gallery. The exposition reflected works of young German and Slovak artists created during their exchange programs at the partner school’s studio.