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The Clown Jewels
University College of Arts, Crafts and Design, The Department of Design, Crafts and Art (DKK), Ädellab/Metal.
2012 (English)Independent thesis Advanced level (degree of Master (Two Years)), 20 credits / 30 HE creditsStudent thesis [Artistic work]
Abstract [en]

Humour and irony are strategies for survival. The social world and the paradoxes of our life are so heavy there is a danger of becoming crazy. I am a child of Dadaism, which is also a strategy against craziness. (Bernabei, 2011:196)

 

 

I subscribe to Jewellery artist, Bernhard Schobinger’s mantra. Humour is unequivocally important and particularly within the context of contemporary jewellery and corpus. When has smiling or laughing ever felt bad? As a communication device, humour is possibly the most instantaneous. Danish humourist Victor Borge (1909-2000) emphasized this succinctly when he defined humour as the shortest distance between two people.

Adornment and jewellery hail from pre-civilization, as does humour. Hence the pairing of humour with the most intimate applied art form of jewellery is an obvious match. I believe it makes perfect sense to harness humour as an artistic attribute for better communication of an idea or message.

 

Research indicates that the major reason we laugh is because jokes contain truths. In his book Jokes and Their Relation to the Unconscious (1960), Sigmund Freud deduced that the jokes we tell reveal our unconscious fears and desires.

Despite not holding all the answers, humour in art and in particular, contemporary jewellery, is serious business.

 

Throughout this essay I will explore the everyday and will use a random happening I witnessed in Stockholm to generate some discussion, as it encompasses ready-mades, the everyday and humour. I will also explore the evolution of humour in society and in the realm of contemporary jewellery in conjunction with ready-mades.

 

 

Humour, anti-seriousness, mockery of all values of a bourgeois society, were central to the basic tenets of Dadaism. Marcel Duchamp sought to bring the everyday back to art. He wanted, ‘to put art back in the service of the mind.’

Ready-mades were used as a device within the Dada movement, in opposition to what had come before. What started as a consequence of Duchamp’s rejection of art and his suspicion that life was a melancholy joke, a tongue in cheek statement, has become the vehicle of choice for many contemporary artists.

 

This essay is a celebration and continuum of that idea. I believe that through observations of the everyday along with the utilization of ready-mades within contemporary jewellery, humour is born. I propose that by harnessing ready-mades, not as a concept but as a tool, in contemporary jewellery, a new humour laden vocabulary emerges to uncover the everyday. The benefits of humour are multifold, ultimately facilitating effective communication with a wider audience, beyond the contemporary jewellery milieu or as Ted Noten calls them, ”the stylized gravediggers of the art world”. In short, I strongly believe that the proliferation of humour within the field of contemporary jewellery and corpus should be taken seriously.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2012. , 31 p.
Keyword [en]
humour, jewellery
National Category
Arts
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:konstfack:diva-3447OAI: oai:DiVA.org:konstfack-3447DiVA: diva2:525895
Educational program
Jewellery + Corpus (Ädellab/Metal, Master)
Presentation
2012-04-17, Festlokalen, Konstfack Box 3601 126 27, Stockholm, 15:54 (English)
Uppsok
Fine Art
Supervisors
Examiners
Available from: 2012-05-10 Created: 2012-05-09 Last updated: 2012-05-10Bibliographically approved

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