COLD SWEAT, the title of the 1st Lisbon Contemporary Jewellery Biennial, invites us to reflect on BODY, FEAR and PROTECTION in a programme that includes exhibitions projects, talks, meetings and masterclasses. The current pandemic forces us rethink our modus operandi, and the fear and uncertainty it has caused led us to choose a remarkable aspect in the history of jewellery – physical and spiritual protection – as the Biennial’s theme, and what it means in the 21st century as a subject to discuss.
The theme emerged with a planned exhibition that PIN launched in March 2020 at the start of lockdown: protective jewellery pieces/objects. They have been displayed in an online exhibition since July 2020 organised by MUDE – Museu do Design e da Moda.
This cathartic exercise was opened up to other Portuguese and foreign artists, and the results will be at the core of the Biennial in partnership with MUDE, Museu de São Roque and PIN – and will be presented at the temporary exhibition gallery in the Igreja and Museu de São Roque. The exhibition also enjoys the support of Museu da Farmácia, which will loan several objects and also exhibit contemporary works to set up a dialogue with pieces in its own collection ...
The first discussion will be on the Biennial’s general themes: Body, Fear and Protection. Three researchers/specialists in various subjects will be invited to take part. A moderator will introduce the topic and speakers and ensure a lively debate. It will take place in Brotéria in partnership with the Centro de Investigação e Tecnologia das Artes da Universidade Católica Portuguesa – Escola das Artes [Research Centre in Science and Technology of the Arts at the School of Arts - Catholic University in Porto]. Brotéria will also host the õhuLoss exhibition from Estonia.
As a MUDE initiative, Sociedade Nacional de Belas-Artes (SNBA) will present an anthological exhibition of the jewellery created by the sculpture José Aurélio. The SNBA will also host the Jewellery Room where international galleries specialising in contemporary jewellery will boost the market and show an international panorama. The Jewellery Department of Ar.Co – Centro de Arte e Comunicação Visual will develop a project based on the Biennial theme and put on an exhibition of results in its Sala Polivalente. This project will include the eight international schools that are to take part in this show as well as the meeting of ideas and shared teaching experiences. In the week before the Biennial’s official opening, two masterclasses will be given in Ar.Co by the international artists and professors Christoph Zellweger and Caroline Broadhead on Fear and Protection, respectively. The results will be presented at the same time as the schools’ exhibition.
In October, the Precious Crown of Our Lady of Fatima – nowadays also a reliquary of a bullet (contact relic) that wounded Pope John Paul II – will be displayed for two days in the Igreja de São Roque. A colloquium will be given about its history as a religious object and a spiritual amulet. Among the guests attending it will be Marco Daniel Duarte, the director of the Museu do Santuário de Fátima as well as a representative of Casa Leitão & Leitão, the jewellers that created the crown in the 1940s.
Sá da Costa, Reverso, Teresa Lacerda and Tereza Seabra Galleries, and the Romanian Cultural Institute in Lisbon will present various international exhibitions and promote talks and guided visits to be announced in due course.
The Biennial’s prime aims are to encourage research into the history of jewellery by making bridges and connections with other subjects, to foster contemporary jewellery by creating new settings for exhibitions and to promote meetings and interchanges between researchers, curators, artists and students, between themselves and with the Portuguese and an international public. The Biennial also wants to urge us to ponder over the complex moment we are all going through and stress the importance of art in life and all our daily lives.