LAUREN KALMAN – BODYHOOD AND JEWELLERINESS. During the 1960s–80s, the body helped to liberate jewellery from ornamental, representational, and financial requirements that had been taken for granted since time immemorial. Artists such as Gijs Bakker + Emmy van Leersum (1960s/70s), Peter Skubic (1970s), Otto Künzli and Gerd Rothmann (1982), added a new perspective to the inside, outside and perception of the body. For some time, the idea of jewellery as an object that reflects fashion, taste, and the financial and moral condition of the client, seemed obsolete and something we had to resist. In this process the body replaced the person or client. The body changed from the necessary framework to hang a piece on or from, into a performative object. For various reasons (which I cannot go into further here), this development was nipped in the bud before it could actually blossom. A representative of a younger generation who takes the body as an object of research, in quite a radical way, is Lauren Kalman. Kalman (1980) is an American interdisciplinary artist who uses her body, photography, sculpture, jewellery, performances, and installations to test the borders of her body, evoke feelings of repulsion, and express ideas about feminism, beauty, sexuality, and ornament. She studied jewellery and metalsmithing, foundry (chasing and welding), art and technology. Her work, no matter its size or the medium she uses, has a degree of jewelleriness that makes it unique in the context of Body Art and Feminist Art. In my lecture I will shortly introduce approaches to the body in the history of contemporary jewellery and then move to Lauren Kalman, to analyse the role of jewellery in her Body Art.
LIESBETH DEN BESTEN
(Amsterdam, 1956) is an art historian specialist in the field of contemporary jewellery. She has curated exhibitions in the Netherlands and abroad. From 1992 to 2016 she worked for the Françoise van de Bosch Fundation
, as its secretary, and from 2000 as the chairperson. She was a member of the Art Jewelry Forum
Board and Publication Committee from 2013 to 2019. She is an advisory board member of the Journal of Jewellery Research
. Since 2016 she lectures jewellery history at Sint Lucas Academy in Antwerp, Belgium. Together with Gijs Bakker, Ted Noten and Ruudt Peters, she is involved in founding an MA in jewellery: MASieraad. The temporary 2-years program MA Challenging Jewellery
(2018-2020) at Sandberg Institute Amsterdam was the first result. As of 2021-2022 a new permanent masterclass programme MASieraad Hasselt-Amsterdam starts at PXL-MAD School of Arts in Hasselt, Belgium. Den Besten and the other initiators are actively involved in the education at MASieraad H-A. Den Besten is the author of a great many publications on crafts, and contemporary jewellery design. In 2011 her bestselling On Jewellery, a compendium of international contemporary art jewellery
was published by arnoldsche Art Publishers.