Ramon Puig Cuyàs: Notes on a travelling experience

Contemporary jewellery is a hybrid field. It is art, as well as it is craft. In saying so, I mean that this is a category of art that exists in the tension between both systems. This aesthetical hybridism means also that contemporary jewellers know well both fields. Most of them don’t want to abandon any of them and work in the frontier of both. They explore art and craft, using challenging as a strategy in both directions. Contemporary jewellery is different from all other categories of art. It can be defended as an indicial art.

Ana Campos, 2011  [Exhibition Catalog, Poland]

 

Contemporary jewellery is a hybrid field. It is art, as well as it is craft. In saying so, I mean that this is a category of art that exists in the tension between both systems. This aesthetical hybridism means also that contemporary jewellers know well both fields. Most of them don’t want to abandon any of them and work in the frontier of both. They explore art and craft, using challenging as a strategy in both directions. Contemporary jewellery is different from all other categories of art. It can be defended as an indicial art.

This paradigm, from one side, reflects unsolved historical problems. One is the division of arts introduced by Vasari in the Renaissance.This author elected three arts, architecture, sculpture and painting. There where also auxiliary arts – what is nowadays called crafts – whish would support those elected ones. The modern period, in the 18th century showed intentions to solve this division between intellectual arts and working arts. In the back of this aim there was a willing to configure an end to the power of the guilds, in order to centralize all powers in the government. In fact, the guilds saw their end arriving. But all the other intensions don’t correspond to the expected results. On the contrary, the Fine Arts system emerged and the craftsman where not emancipated, following the Enlightenment humanist philosophy rationale. Later on, the Arts and Crafts Movement and the Bauhaus invested on solving this problem. Following different ways, they both brought arts together. Through a total art, in the case of Bauhaus and thorough a dialog between arts and crafts, man was emancipated and new things where introduced, written in new shared languages. Contemporary jewellery has followed these steps, going into the art way, not into the commodities field.

By doing so, contemporary jewellery shows it self a second side of this question. Contemporary jewellery added symbolic meanings to things, the jewels.

Jewellery has always been a symbolic means of communication. But primordial adornment, as well as jewels, where codified ways of communication. They made visible rules, kinds of expected behaviour or ways of doing in each social arena. With contemporary jewellery symbolic communication is reconfigured. Like in art, in all its extensions, communication is not codified. It is free. Jewellers and jewels are emancipated from rules, announcing a new humanism. Following a democratic and horizontal politic, these jewellers take that supposed working area – the craft side – into the art field. They take it as an interpretive field and introduce expression where it was not supposed to exist. Reasoning, feeling, working, interpretation are brought together to the creative field, in order to make visible a new extension of art. In this scenario the obvious does not take place. All is imperceptible at a first site. Because a symbol is and invisible connection between people, contemporary jewellery proposes also a reconfiguration of relational experience, where interpretation takes a relevant place. There are surprises to unveil, and new hermeneutical experiences of art are offered to the public. They are heterogeneous, different and unique after each jeweller.

Ramon Puig Cuyàs inherited a composite culture, a network of contacts that were established centuries ago throughout the Mediterranean basin, which are frequently cited numerous cases of hybrid situations. Dialogues between modes of thinking and imagining, and world views, beliefs and religions, various practical reasons, have made , even today, we see mixed races in the configuration of buildings and moving objects, as well as how to combine materials or construction and production techniques. The food itself is also an important witness.

In between conquistadores and men that experienced life in new lands, anthropological miscegenation was a reality, as well as hybridisation of arts, architecture and all kinds of products. This enables a sociolinguistic process for the meaning of the word mestizo, wish is not politically incorrect like in other languages. This was made possible because man lived situations that determine a new and different linguistic process. To Ramón Puig this an accepted and welcome reality, whish he drives into his work.

Ramon Puig Cuyàs always describes his creative process like a metaphorical journey of discovery. Intuition and doubt, conscience and critic, he is accompanied on this trip that is reflection. Returning to their uniqueness and creative work, assuming the construction of both simultaneously, questions: how to express their message and share their work socially? Focusing on the role of ornament, in other societies and in his, in the present and the past, he reflects on the reasons why the jewelry-as other objects produced in the current cultural environment, have lost capacity material transcendence. Wondering about the cloning of objects being designed for mass production and towards a globalized economic environment, focus on the dialectic seduction / rejection. Aware that aims to design jewelry with a contrary character, produces one by one in his workshop, bringing together design and implementation. Wishing, like all creators, entice users to try to convert them, as Calvin says, in “necessary expression, unique, dense, concise, memorable”[i]

 

[i]    Calvino, Italo (1994). Seis Propostas Para o Próximo Milenio. Lisboa: Teorema, p. 65.

 

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