Why is artistic jewellery design not part of the Istanbul Design Biennial?

The first edition of the Istanbul Design Biennial is just about to open; it will be going on in the fascinating Turkish capital city from the 13th of October to the 12th of December 2012.

It reads: ‘With the aim of underlining the importance of design for production, economy, cultural interaction and quality of life, the first Istanbul Design Biennial will be realised in 2012 by Istanbul Foundation for Culture and Arts.
 Istanbul Design Biennial will be open to all disciplines of the creative industries in major fields such as urban design, architecture, interior design, industrial design, graphic design, new media design and fashion design, as well as their subfields.’

There should be some questions raised in relation to the absence of jewellery, that we are not ready yet to answer accurately, but that we are definitely willing to reflect on in the near future. Furthermore, the overall theme of the Biennial deals with the notion of Imperfection, indeed deeply related with the contemporary jewellery discipline, in its different aspects and aims.

On the theme: ‘To try to make a perfect object is to know what to aim for, when you design every joint, create every seam, and shape every surface. But to look for the positive qualities in imperfection, you cannot blindly commit to a process or a conceptual framework and expect the outcome you would like simply through the exercise of skill or persistence or consistency. Every decision is a personal choice, not the result of a philosophy. (…) In the age of mass production, perfection has been taken to mean the ability to make hundreds, thousands or even millions of objects that are all exactly the same. The word itself suggests the existence of an original, with the special qualities that implies. (…) Each car has the same characteristics, the characteristics of the model. It is in some ways the very opposite of the human desire for the distinctive and the individual, the instinctive desire to make our possessions our own.’

And couldn’t all of these thoughts be applied to jewellery design? And to the differences between industrial production and the search for the ‘perfect’ commercially-promoted-beauty in opposition to contemporary artistic jewellery and its aim to stimulate reflections, to raise questions, to create relations, taking as a starting point the very notion of diversity (so non-perfection) and individuality?

The only reference to jewellery design we managed to discover was a workshop held by  Amina Agueznay, in March 2012, of which you can see a video report here.

We sincerely hope the engagement with our discipline will be explored further in the future editions, of course taking into account we all need to work towards this achievement as well…

In any case it does sound like an interesting event, with also a number of parallel projects that extend its framework. Definitely check it out here, and we hope to be going!

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