8th Critical Craft Forum: Gender and Jewelry

Where: College Art Association, NYC

Date: February 16, 2017

Time: 10:30 AM - 12:00 PM

Location: Sutton Parlor South, 2nd Floor

 

Chairs: Namita Gupta Wiggers, Critical Craft Forum and Benjamin Lignel, Artist, Curator, Writer 

Session Abstract:

Despite the connection between jewelry and the body, significant critical analysis of the relationship between gender and adornment – particularly of contemporary art jewelry – is nascent at best. This panel explores connections between this subject and forms of adornment, ornament, and art jewelry. Panelists will each present their research in brief, focused 8 minute talks, to be followed by a respondent and workshop/discussion amongst panelists and attendees.

The goals: to identify and work collaboratively with researchers and artists to explore the relationship between gender and jewelry; to work collectively prior to the panel to build a core group with shared interests via ww.criticalcraftforum; to publicly share individual research investigations; and to use the broader collective group of CAA attendees to further questions, thinking and concerns to expand critical frameworks for further study. Collective project work for this session with panelists and panel attendees will be acknowledged and explored in a forthcoming publication – the first to critically examine gender and art jewelry – currently being researched by Lignel and Wiggers. 

Papers, Speaker Info, and Paper Abstracts:

Speaker 1: Meredith P. Nelson, Bard Graduate Center

The gold body chain (catena) is a Roman jewelry form that is represented by a small corpus of pieces, uncovered primarily in excavations of the Vesuvian region, and dating to the 1st century A.D. Representations of catenae in contemporary visual media indicate that the body chain held distinctly erotic connotations, as it appears to have been worn only by women, over their bare torsos. Furthermore, the chains are found primarily in images of Venus and mortal women engaged in explicit sexual acts. Because of these illustrations, it appears the catena functioned in Roman contexts as an assertive, visual sign of female sexuality. The intersection of material remains and visual representation elicit deeper questions about the role of catenae in advertising female sexual autonomy, the status of the women who wore them, and the kinds of social environments in which such demonstrations were considered appropriate. 

Speaker 2: Emily K. Rebmann

Historically, men’s jewelry has been subject to regulations that have not been applied to jewelry worn by women. These rules changed over time as well as in relation to event type and time of day, and can best be summarized as an unfaltering emphasis on “correctness” of style. The guidelines functioned as a “dress code” of sorts that established a “uniform” that could allow men to transcend the boundaries of class – if executed correctly. Though it is not possible to ascertain the precise number of men who followed this advice, the sheer magnitude of advertisements and articles that played off men’s social anxieties and the popularity of "correct" jewelry during the period lead to the following question: how, if at all, has nineteenth- and twentieth-century prescriptive literature impacted the jewelry worn by men in contemporary society? 

 Speaker 3: Julia Heineccius, The Evergreen State College

Jewelry everywhere and nowhere.

•    How is jewelry used in the photographic description of bodies?

•    When does jewelry no longer describe the body wearing it?

•    What is the effect of opting-out of adornment?

In the images made by Annie Leibovitz of Caitlyn Jenner for Vanity Fair, jewelry is everywhere and nowhere.  On the cover, there is no jewelry: just the hair vamped and flesh bodysuited in satin.  In one of the interior article shots, the jewelry is negligible, especially when contrasted with the giant Olympic gold metal left on the table.  The placement and scale of jewelry in these portraits authenticate gender (and wealth) and allow the lack of jewelry to be as descriptive as the presence of it.

Speaker 4: James Tigger! Ferguson

I have a sassy story to share about a sissy-gendered teen struggling to breathe in the Midwest who inherited the "Dead Grandma Collection" of garish costume jewelry, and how it helped to open a door he had been kicking against for as long as he could remember. It takes me an hour just to write a postcard. This story takes many, many postcards. My art moves very quickly onstage but takes a lifetime of preparation. New York’s leading boylesque performer since 1997, Actor/Dancer/Stripper/Performance Artist James Tigger! Ferguson has been stripping and grinding since 1988.

Speaker 5: renée c. hoogland, Wayne State University

The thrust of my argument will be that becoming non-heterosexual, both epistemologically and ontologically, is, first of all, a radically historical process, but also an undeniably materially embodied/embedded phenomenon within an ever-emergent system of linkages with material objects and practices. That this, at least theoretically, equally holds true for dominant or straight modulations of becoming does nothing to detract from the fact that it is in its material practices, manifestations, and effects that the latter, heterosexuality, appears, and thus obtains as a form of natural or transcendent being, while the former, queer becoming, primarily consists in activity, in what Alfred North Whitehead calls “actual” or “living occasions,” orwhat Deleuze and Guattari describe as intensive “events” within complex matrices of materiality.  

Discussant 1: Jenni Sorkin, UC, Santa Barbara

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CALL FOR PROPOSALS - DUE AUGUST 30, 2016

Critical Craft Forum at College Art Association, 2017

“Critical Craft Forum: Gender and Jewelry”
Chairs: Namita Gupta Wiggers, Critical Craft Forum and Benjamin Lignel, Art Jewelry Forum

Date and Time: Thursday, 02/16/17: 10:30 AM–12:00 PM
Room: Sutton Parlor South, 2nd Floor, New York Hilton Midtown

Despite the connection between jewelry and the body, significant critical analysis of the relationship between gender and adornment – particularly of contemporary art jewelry – is nascent at best. Critical Craft Forum is seeking papers that explore connections between this subject and forms of adornment, ornament, and art jewelry.

Submit 250-300 words on one specific question or issue about gender and jewelry in your research or art practice.
Email: namita_wiggers@yahoo.com, editor@artjewelryforum.org

Selected panelists (six) will be invited to participate in online private and public discussions preceding the College Art Association (CAA) conference (February 15-18, 2017, New York, NY) via Art Jewelry Forum and Critical Craft Forum.

At the CAA conference, panelists will each present a brief, focused eight-minute paper, to be followed by a workshop/discussion among panelists and attendees, to be led by Lignel and Wiggers. Session is scheduled for February 16, 2017.

The goals: to identify and work collaboratively with researchers and artists exploring the relationship between gender and jewelry; to work collectively prior to the panel to build a core group with shared interests; to publicly share individual research investigations in the CAA session; and to use the broader collective group of attendees gathered for the session to further questions, thinking and concerns to expand critical frameworks for further study. Collective project work for this session with panelists and panel attendees will be acknowledged and explored in a forthcoming publication – the first to critically examine gender and art jewelry – currently being researched by Lignel and Wiggers.

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Critical Craft Forum at College Art Association, 2016

"THE BLACK CRAFTSMAN SITUATION": A CRITICAL CONVERSATION ABOUT RACE AND CRAFT

CO-CHAIRS:  Bibiana Obler, George Washington University, Washington, DC and Mary Savig, Archives of American Art, Washington, DC

  • Sonya Clark, Virginia Commonwealth University, Richmond, VA
  • Wesley Clark, Hyattsville, MD
  • Dr. Joan Gaither, Maryland Institute College of Art, Baltimore, MD
  • Joyce J. Scott, Baltimore, MD
  • Diana N'Diaye, Smithsonian Center for Folk and Cultural Heritage, Washington, DC
  • Namita Gupta Wiggers, Portland, OR

Each presenter will speak for about 5 minutes before entering a discussion about issues of race and craft.

Session will be recorded and released as a Critical Craft Forum podcast.

Update: Due to unforseen circumstances, Dr. Joan Gaither and Diana N'Diaye were unable to participate.

The transcript from this panel will be available as a chapter in Anthea Black and Nicole Burisch, edits., Craft on Demand, New York: Routledge, 2017. (https://antheablack.com/2014/10/01/craft-on-demand/)

 

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Critical Craft Forum at College Art Association, 2015

For those of you heading to College Art Association in NYC, this year's session focuses on the question:

CURATING AND CRAFT: WHAT HAPPENS NOW?

Friday, February 13, 2015 from 5:30 - 7:00 PM

Hilton New York, 2nd Floor, Sutton Parlor South

From the Walker to the Whitney, Hammer to the ICA, Boston, craft materials, performances, and artworks can be found in any number of museum exhibitions. Concurrently, craft is exhibited -- sometimes in the same manner though more frequently in different ways -- in academic, craft-focused, and independent museums of varying sizes across the country. How do these institutional missions overlap – and why? How are broader questions, such as gender, sexuality, identity, and activism as well heritage, process and materialism revealing themselves in this expanded exposure? What kind of work may fall in-between, perhaps in cracks and fissures between agendas, resulting in a contentious rather than a productive interstice?

CHAIRS: Namita Gupta Wiggers, Critical Craft Forum | Independent Curator; Elisabeth Agro, Philadelphia Museum of Art

  • Glenn AdamsonDirector, Museum of Arts & Design
  • Anthony Elms, Association Curator, ICA, Philadephia
  • Wendy Gers,  University of Johannesburg, South Africa and Ecole Superieure d'Art et de Design de Valenciennes

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Let's take the conversation from online to on site. Together, we can develop local chapters and collaborative programs through Critical Craft Forum. To kick us off:

Meet-up at MCA: Wednesday, February 12, 11 am; optional lunch to follow; Sign up on Facebook
Join Jovencio de la Paz and Namita Gupta Wiggers to walk through and discuss William J O'brien's exhibition currently on view. Writing about the exhibition has proven problematic—together we will talk about the exhibition, the language being used to review it—and see what we can do to make change...More info here http://www.architecturaldigest.com/ad/art/2014/william-j-obrien-abstract-art 

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Critical Craft Forum at College Art Association
For those of you heading to College Art Association, here is the double-header session for this year’s Critical Craft Forum panel and discussion. For 2014, we partnered with co-chairs Lisa Vinebaum and Kirsty Robertson’s session “Crafting Community: Textiles, Collaboration, and Social Space.” The Critical Craft Forum session immediately follows from 5:30–7:00 PM in the same room to extend the conversation on “Craft and Social Practice.” For those who are not attending CAA, the CCF session will be recorded and released at a date TBD later this spring.

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Crafting Community: Textiles, Collaboration, and Social Space: Thursday, February 13, 2:30–5:00 PM;
Hilton Chicago, 2nd Floor, Boulevard C, 720 South Michigan Avenue; CAA fees required to attend

Chairs: Lisa Vinebaum, School of the Art Institute of Chicago;
Kirsty M. Robertson, University of Western Ontario

  • Crafting Threads and Social Space in Late Medieval Paris
    Nancy Gardner Feldman, School of the Art Institute Chicago

  • Insecurity Blankets
    Nicole Archer, San Francisco Art Institute

  • Crocheted Strategies: Women Crafting Their Own Communities
    Janis K. Jefferies, Goldsmiths, University of London

  • I Am Ai, We Are Ai: Confirming and Connecting the Collective Tradition of Indigo in Japan
    Rowland Ricketts, III, Indiana University

  • Baked Goods: Interweaving Cake, Craft, and Cocaine
    Julia Skelly, Concordia University

  • A Community of Non-Citizens: Proving Worth of Citizenship through Stitching Samplers
    Aram Han, School of the Art Institute of Chicago

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Critical Craft Forum: Craft and Social Practice; Thursday, February 13, 5:30–7:00; Hilton Chicago, 2nd Floor, Boulevard C, 720 South Michigan Avenue; CAA fees required to attend

Chairs: Namita G. Wiggers, Museum of Contemporary Craft, Pacific Northwest College of Art;
Elisabeth Agro, Philadelphia Museum of Art

  • Michael Strand, North Dakota State University 

  • Sarah Archer, Philadelphia Art Alliance

  • Jen de los Reyes, Portland State University

Michael Strand is Head of Visual Arts and Associate Professor of Art at North Dakota State University. As a potter, Strand’s work moves seamlessly into public practice through projects that utilize the inherent participatory nature of craft-based media as a trigger for social engagement and change. His work has been published internationally with recent articles in Hemslojd, Public Art Review, Studio Potter, Ceramics Art and Perception/TECHNICAL, Ceramics Monthly, The Chronicle of Higher Education and a forthcoming feature article in American Craft.

Through 25,000 years of participatory history, craft has been a building block of culture and human civilization. From prayer shawls to food storage vessels the "useful" nature of craft will continue to be an instrument of social change.  With an increasingly digital and technologically connected world, craft-based media has an exceptional advantage in social practice because of its inherently relational capacity. http://www.michaeljstrand.com/

Sarah Archer is a writer and curator based in Philadelphia. As the Senior Curator at the Philadelphia Art Alliance, she organized numerous exhibitions including a site-specific installation by Beijing-based artists Song Dong and Yin Xiuzhen. Previously, she was the Director of Greenwich House Pottery, and a curatorial assistant at the Museum of Arts and Design. Her articles and reviews have appeared in the Journal of Modern Craft, American Craft, Artnet, Ceramics: Art and Perception, Hand/Eye, Modern Magazine, Studio Potter, and The Huffington Post. Archer recently guest-curated “Bright Future: New Designs in Glass” at the Pratt Manhattan Gallery.

Unlike a museum staging a food-related event in a dedicated gallery space, “Heirloom” will use the existing ecosystem of the Philadelphia Art Alliance to introduce visitors and diners to ideas that are germane to craft practice in an unexpected way. Marketed as a culinary experience, Gregg Moore’s collaboration with chef Pierre Calmeis of La Cheri, the PAA’s onsite restaurant will explore food and domesticity as an example of social practice and craft. http://www.philartalliance.org/craft-culture-panel-discussion-with-chad-curtis-ethan-lasser-and-sarah-archer/ and http://www.philartalliance.org/exhibition/gregg-moore-heirloom/#more-1963

Jen Delos Reyes is an artist originally from Winnipeg, MB, Canada. Her research interests include the history of socially engaged art, artist-run culture, group work, band dynamics, folk music, and artists’ social roles. Jen is the founder and director of Open Engagement, an international conference on socially engaged art. She is currently an Assistant Professor at Portland State University where she teaches in the Art and Social Practice program.

What can craft learn from socially engaged art practice? How can forms of social practice benefit from current craft dialogues? Delos Reyes will discuss the need to teach social practice at a foundations level and the impact that this would have on arts education including a re-evaluation of the role of craft and the function of design. http://jendelosreyes.com/openengagement/about.html and http://openengagement.info/oe2014/

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CCF Breakfast: Friday, February 14, 8 am at Yolk; limited seats; Sign up on Facebook
Join co-founders Elisabeth Agro and Namita Gupta Wiggers for breakfast, discussion, and camaraderie.

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