Project #4: Duality of Presence

Project Title:     Duality of Presence @ Munich Jewellry Week
Project Timeline:    

October 2016 – March 2017 (opening reception March 8, 2017)

Project Description:

This project is a collaboration of two American Professors of Jewelry and Metals curating an exhibition of American contemporary art jewelry to take place at the Super + CENTERCOURT Gallery in Munich, Germany during the annual International Exposition of Trades and Crafts (Handwerksmesse) and the internationally renowned exhibition, Munich Jewelry Week / Schmuck 2017.

The exhibition titled Duality of Presence explores a movement in American contemporary jewelry and object making where artists aim to reveal hidden narratives through material, format, presentation, and interaction. The works reveal and question histories, lineage, conveyance, and supply chain to expand and contract possible contexts of meaning. In virtual reality a ‘duality of presence’ refers to the user’s ability to be present in both their own reality and another, via technology. This duality of presence highlights a specific approach in American making where artists explore both visible and veiled contexts through material, connecting the objects we make to a multiplicity of perspectives generated by these connections. This exhibition suggests and demonstrates that material specificity conjures both the reality in front of us, and others – at a distance. To be simultaneously viewing the artwork in the gallery, but also be transported by the materials story provides insight to our relationships with objects, materials, and histories through materiality, research, and making.

Seventeen prominent contemporary art jewelers have been invited to participate in Duality of Presence alongside the two curators and organizers. The works shown will demonstrate a broad range of subject matter, with material specificity, history, and lineage as the common threads that bind the works together. In addition to the physical display of jewelry and objects, the exhibition will include two digitally based interactive components, an innovative use of virtual reality video and an interactive website. Virtual reality headsets integrated into the gallery display will show VR videos produced by selected participating artists using a virtual reality multi-lens camera. Using their smart phone, the viewer will simply navigate to the exhibition website, select an artist produced video; slip their phone into the Google Cardboard headset, and watch. The videos will transport the viewer from the gallery to a significant site or moment chosen and filmed by the artists. This exciting use of VR technology highlights the aim of the exhibition by didactically illustrating the proposition that material connects us to hidden histories.

If you receive the grant, how will the funds support your project?

If awarded the Crafthaus micro grant, the funds will support the purchase of materials for the execution of our display system, costs of hosting our interactive website, and the costs of producing a print catalog. The display will be made from lightweight Plexiglas and steel, with works secured to the clear panels – appearing to float in space. The curators will build a model of the display prior to arriving in Munich, and the final display will be built on site at CENTERCOURT Gallery for the exhibition. The exhibition includes an interactive website ( and print catalog giving it global visibility - far beyond the primary viewers of the exhibition.

Project #4: Duality of Presence

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