From 25 September to 30 November 2017 in Paris, Parcours Bijoux staged by the “D’un bijou à l’autre” Association with Comité Francéclat is laying on exhibitions, talks and happenings to promote contemporary jewelry. It’s a real opportunity to explore this kind of jewelry, little known in France, often unappreciated and generally misunderstood. It is conceptual, oscillates between craftsmanship, design, art and fashion accessory, and is defined mainly through the creator’s commitment to or exploration of a particular aspect, often the relationship with the body. You can see that this type of jewelry is totally wearable and frequently affordable, costing no more than a few hundred euros.
Here’s my initial selection from around 60 events.
To start with, some dedicated galleries
– Elsa Vanier. This impassioned gallery owner is presenting an exhibition based on titanium, “a material intimately linked with the experimentation typical of contemporary jewelry”. The gallery’s regulars will naturally be taking part, like Agathe Saint-Girons and Florence Croisier, together with some foreigners who have never exhibited in France before: Roland Kawczynski and Fabrice Schaefer from Switzerland, José Marin from Spain and Meghan O’Rourke and Vanessa Williams from Australia.
– Naïla de Monbrison’s gallery, well-known the world over. In 1987, she was the first to bring contemporary and artists’ jewelry to the fore. Here initiates will find the nec plus ultra in the form of exclusive pieces by Tina Chow, Marcial Berro, Giorgio Vigna, Gilles Jonemann and Taher Chemirik. In her exhibition “Gourmandises” (“Goodies”), she is hosting other artists, including Delphine Nardin with her poetic creations in frosted glass.
– Résidences. The title of their group exhibition, “Je m’attendais à autre chose” (“I was expecting something else”) sums up the ethos of the selection with a twinkle.
To continue – some key names
– Gilles Jonemann, a contemporary jewelry pioneer in France in the 1970s, created the famous wrench pendant holding a diamond, rings formed with seashells, necklaces strung with broken pottery, etc. A master of his art, he has trained designers like Marianne Anselin, Maryline Fontenelle and Julie Decubber.
– Monika Brugger, a highly prominent figure in contemporary jewelry, is staging a retrospective in a converted glove factory (the Mercier Gallery): an occasion to discover her textile jewelry (which might take the form of a bloodstain-embroidery or a wound-string of pearls) and her jewelry projected onto the skin.
– Sophie Hanagarth. The work of this silversmith, creator of an iconic upholstery tack testicle necklace, questions the nature of jewelry as armor or ex-voto in turn. She also explores all metal-related techniques, including bottle tops and tin cans.
– Marion Delarue is appearing in two exhibitions at the same time, showing her work on the plant lacquer technique she learned during her residence in Korea.
Avenues worth exploring
It’s impossible to know in advance what the 350 creators will be presenting, or which installations will be worth a detour. I shall follow my intuition, and I’ll be guided by the theme or venue as well. Parcours Bijoux also provides a chance to wander through Paris – in fact, one of the events is called “Paris is a pretext.” During Parcours Bijoux, I’ll keep you up-to-date with my favorite events on thefrenchjewelrypost. But I’ve already decided to visit:
– The Musée de Minéralogie ParisTech, hosting the Brazilian artist Regina Dabdab among others, and the Design & Nature Gallery: a neo-cabinet of curiosities where stuffed animals mingle with the creations of Sophie Hanagarth, Marion Delarue and Noon Passama on the theme of “Zooanthropia”.
– “Rêver un rêve impossible” (“Dreaming the impossible dream”), “4+1: au-delà de la zone de confort ” (“4+1: beyond the comfort zone”) and “Pink Panthers”: a nod to the international jewel thief gang specializing in luxury jewelry. Exhibitions with titles like that are bound to have some intriguing stuff!
Enjoy the Parcours Bijoux.