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Utställning

Meld
— Johanna Zellmer

Meld– an introduction

As a jeweller, I explore the potential of national iconic symbols to represent the hybrid identities of contemporary culture. Jewellery functions as an interstitial practice, appearing in the very space of constant negotiation that is also subject to personal identity construction. Jewellery objects fulfil this specific role in everyday social encounters, enabling jewellery makers to place their practice at the heart of contemporary discourses of identity.

During the past 5 years, my practice has focused on the subverting of monetary value by using currency as a key medium, and has subsequently moved into an investigation of migration, addressing the experienced realities of identity and location. Through the basic jewellery interventions of cutting and forging minted state symbols, I am questioning whether the hybrid identities of contemporary culture can be embodied in a single object. Symbols in metal, when forged under the hammer, become suggestive of shadows and take on the qualities of signs in a state of change, able to evoke a sense of hybridity.

By directly engaging with immigrants through interviews, my practice has moved, at least to some degree, from object maker to mediator, giving a voice to an audience that is imperative in shaping the work. The ensuing publication of a book alongside my exhibition practice enabled me to comprehensively capture themes of identity and social encounter as being essential to contemporary jewellery practice. Yet, rather than remaining constrained by an anthropological reflection on jewellery and its relation to the body of the wearer, I regard contemporary jewellery as able to function as an analytical tool or instrument of identity politics. I therefore suggest the potential of jewellery to be used as a medium of socio-political knowledge.

Johanna Zellmer

Johanna Zellmer. Year and city of birth: *1968, Friedberg/Hessen. Lives and works in: Dunedin, New Zealand. Johanna Zellmer completed a formal apprenticeship as a goldsmith in Germany and a Master’s degree at the Australian National University Canberra School of Art. She coordinates the Jewellery & Metalsmithing Studio and the Artist-in-Residence Programme at the Dunedin School of Art, New Zealand. Johanna co-founded CLINKProjects with Shane Hartdegen in 2014, a collaborative engagement in experimental and traditional making, writing and exhibition practice in the field of contemporary jewellery.
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Exhibition program

6.4 Opening, 12:00 and Opening Speech at 1:00 by Love Jönsson

27.4 Half Day Seminar, more info Changing Positions
Lecture by Johanna Zellmer (Iaspisstipendiat) from New Zealand, and other.
Exhibition Views by Mona Wallström

27–28.4 Extra Exhibition program in the Garaget and House 8, more info