« Dialogue sans question ni réponse qui permet de renouer avec nos vagues intérieures » Nicolas Roméas

By cloelea, Jun 27 2017

Zoe Robertson, ‘FlockOmania’ exhibition
Salvador Dali, The Living Flower, 1959
Alexander Calder, Brass Necklace

“Dialogue without questions or answers that enables us to reconnect with our inner waves”.

Some more thoughts on Art, as seen through the eyes of Nicolas Roméas (founder of the journal: Cassandre/Horschamp, and written in the online journal: L’Insatiable), in : L’Art comme écoleLe Monde Diplomatique, June 2017.

« Comme Platon disait du symbole qu’il était à la recherche de sa part manquante, cette moitié complémentaire qui ne sera jamais exactement la même suivant les cas, puisqu’elle dépend des caractéristiques de celui qui reçoit …, aucun dialogue réel ne peut laisser préjuger de la réponse donnée à une question. C’est ainsi que travaillent les artistes conscients de leur rôle. Là où la langue courante ne suffit plus à dire ce qui se passe, ils inventent des langages à partir d’un univers mental commun. Et ces langages, en prenant leur place dans cet univers, nous forcent à développer en nous la même capacité ».

To sum up, Nicolas Roméas defines Art as a dialogue where part of the creation process is in the hands of the artist and the other part is in the hands of the person who looks/listens/feels/reads the end result. It is an invented language (thought still belonging to ways of communications common to all human being) which will be different according to whom receives it. It is perhaps more than a dialogue; it is a relationship, an interconnection between the artist and the spectator. The artist cannot decide or even guess what will be the “answer” to his “question”, since it will fluctuate depending on who answers the question.

« Les œuvres qui nous traversent… remplissent … un rôle d’apprentissage. Elles agissent réellement sur nous, en éveillant, en inscrivant en nous et en nous enseignant, une façon de percevoir où la sensibilité et l’intellect sont indissolublement liés, qui ne peut se réduire à la seule compréhension…»

Nicolas Roméas goes as far as identifying Art as teaching method: to learn how to perceive things using at the same time our feelings and our intellect.

« C’est dans cet entre-deux symbolique (l’Art) auquel manque une part qu’il nous revient de fournir, entre les mots, les sons et les images, entre l’émotion et un sens indicible bien que partagé, que nous tentons, non d’exprimer ou de décrypter un message, mais de renouveler notre regard. Ce renouvellement passe par le choix d’une entrée, la mise en valeur d’une partie du réel, offerte à la contemplation active. En ce qu’il apprend à poser une distance entre soi et son ressenti, à le laisser agir sans pouvoir immédiatement y répondre… »

Art is this “symbolic duet” of which one part is missing. It is this part that we ought to find, not by expressing or decrypting a message, but by looking at thing with a new eye, meaning making choices, amplifying one aspect over another: “to contemplate actively”. It teaches us to create a distance between us and what we feel, in order to let it reflects slowly before answering.

The active implication of the “audience” (if it can be called that way, in order to include all sorts of arts) is necessary for art to exist, and in that sense is fundamental in jewellery. The dialogue between an item of jewellery and the wearer is essential, but it can vary in actions, from custom orders (where the jeweller has to understand the person’s wishes and feel the way the person is) and presents given by a loved one (where there is an intermediary between the jeweller and the wearer), to the discovery of an item of jewellery so “perfect”, in its way of answering our sensitivity, that we must have it, it says: made for me.

I wanted to add as a direct illustration of these ideas, a type of jewellery which has only recently started to emerge: performative jewellery, where the relationship between the jewellery and the audience is reinforced, where the creating process becomes part of the audience’s experience, where the object needs the person to exist.

It is a blending of jewellery, dance and performance where the object is apprehended through touch, movement and actions, it is part of a moment in time, it becomes alive through the involvement and exploration of the audience.

FlockOmania’ is an exhibition created by jewellery artist Zoe Robertson (showed at the Cass Bank Gallery, London, in January 2017). “The objects break away from static display and are used to create a space referred to by Robertson (jewellery artist), Garrett Brown and Voris (dance artists) as ‘a laboratory of making’. In this space dance artists improvise movement and encourage audience participation”.

Contemporary jewellery (or “art jewellery”, as it is sometimes called) has this precise goal, that it opens our eyes to see things in a way that we would not have seen otherwise. It also teaches us a lot about ourselves whilst discovering others “self”.

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