'Site Effects' Coming Spring 2020

November 11, 2019

Site Effects is an exhibition curated by Katja Toporski and Anja Eichler that will explore jewelry in Europe and the United States. If jewelry is considered a form of communication, do people speak the same language on either side of the Atlantic?

Metalsmith Gary Griffin, when regarding the works in the International Jewelry Exhibition 1900 – 1980 at the ‘Künstlerhaus’ in Vienna, observed: ‘The European work appeared far more minimal than the American. It represented a design distillation process, which resulted in a reductivist aesthetic.’

Griffins was speaking to the jewelry of the last century. But what about the current moment? In Site Effects, a series of questions is posed: have the differences between jewelry created in Europe and the US been blurred in the era of globalization or do they still exist? If there are differences, are they solely aesthetic or are they conceptual as well? And what role does knowing an artist's name and location play in the perception of a work and the potential for cultural stereotyping? Does the Atlantic still exist as a dividing line? Or has this been replaced by a more individualized approach?

Site Effects will feature the works of 12 artists from the United States and 12 from Europe. Each artists will produce two pieces of work: one of their own conception and one in response to a prompt from a partnering artist from across the Atlantic, whose identity they will not know at the time of the jewelry creation. The exhibition seeks to engage with audiences’ preconceived notions of geography and nationality when reflecting on art and to consider what role, if any, the dividing line of the Atlantic plays on the style and substance of these pieces.

The Art Alliance at the University of the Arts will be the United States venue for Site Effects; the European venue is the Bavarian Society of Applied Arts in Munich, Germany, which will host the exhibition from Mid-January to the end of February 2020. A catalogue will accompany the exhibition.