Athens Documenta 14

Chiara Cavallo: Make a wish, make a knot!

Chiara Cavallo is a member of the Initiation 2017/Sieraad International Art Jewellery Fair Amsterdam. Initiation 2017 is curated by Loukia Richards and Christoph Ziegler aka ZLR Betriebimperium. Chiara came to Athens for the preparation of her Sieraad project and went back to Italy with a solo show in Athens – held under the auspices of the Instituto Italiano di Cutura – which worked as a “rehearsal” to the November show, new friends – such as silversmith and artist Ludwig Menzel of Berlin (member of Initiation 2017/Munich Jewellery Week) and lots of notes! The interview is her feedback on how she perceived life in the city of owls!

Photo: Leggerezza/Lightness. Chiara Cavallo.

Leggerezza_Chiara cavallo.jpgWhat did you like in the exhibition concept of Initiation 2017 at Sieraad Amsterdam (9-12 November 2017); first step: #1 come to Athens/ #2 discover a rich and oecumenical culture #3 get inspired by it #4 go home and prepare your work #5 participate in Sieraad?
I like this concept very much, because it is a combination of both traditional and contemporary approaches. I like to travel and get inspiration from different enviroments and people; that’s why I liked my stay in Athens: I got the opportunity to know different people and the habits of Athenians, I visited urban sites and saw art venues guided by contemporary artists with a broader view on various topics.
What was the mot unexpected experience you made in Athens?
I have met many people from abroad and this was unexpected, such as finding new friends! I think Athens has a strong hidden energy that came out during Documenta 14. I think it was a courageous initiative to open new art venues into the city and even if I’ve got the feeling that more people didn’t agree to it, this event have put Athens under another perspective: wider and deeper.
What you did not like?
Nothing at all.
What can Athens give to a young jewellery designer?
The city of Athens has a lot to give to jewelry artists, younger and older. I think the huge culture itself is a rich opportunity for visitors and students. Even if the reality that Athenians are living now regarding politics and administration is not easy for them, I think that living in a nice ‘soap bubble’ instead doesn’t raise any question nor give any impetus to discover new approaches.
What was your favorite object of art/design/architecture you saw in Athens?
This was the little statue of a woman hugging her child in the collection of the National Archaeological Museum. I really liked to visit the studios of students at work at the Athens School of Fine Arts. I found this encounter very strong, interesting and full of energy. They were working on Sunday.
I also liked the controversial modern buildings and the neighborhoods surrounding the city. Athens urban network is full of stratifications, different approaches to the concept of living and  is rich in cultural customs and habits that mirror the poly-hedrical features of the city.
Give us a word/idea/sentence that you take with you from Athens.
Make a wish, make a knot!
Will you come back?
Yes, for sure!!

 

Chiara Cavallo: “Vertical Transitions”. A Jewellery Flaneur through Athens.

Photo credit: Chiara Cavallo and Christoph Ziegler (Athens).

Chiara Cavallo: Vertical Transitions. Solo show at Cine Trianon, Kodriktonos 21, Athens. 8-11 June 2017. Opening: 8 June at 8.30 p.m.

According to Wikipedia, the earliest human presence in the city of Athens starts somewhere between the 11th and 7th millennia BC.

The myth of king Kekrop, half human and half dragon, born by the virgin goddess Athena through a “surrogate mother” – Gaia (Earth) – attests that divine forces have always taken care of the city. The mythical struggle between Poseidon and Athena for the patronage of the city proves changes in religious cults and probably new clans gaining power in politics appr. 4.000 years ago. The Panathenea procession around August 15 was not just a religious celebration, but also a great allegory on the connection of textile to mortality, democracy and freedom.

Chiara Cavallo is not unknown to Athens. Her rich biography includes shows and curatorial work at the city of Pallas – one of the myriad of names attributed to Athena, the patron and name giver of the capital of modern Greece.

Athena — some interpret her name as making allusion to A-ta’-na, a female goddess worshipped in the East, others – such as Plato – tell us that it means: Theou noos: The thoughts of God; for Athena is born out of Zeus’ head.  In Christian terms, Athena could be understood as Agia Sophia – The holy wisdom of God or even The Virgin, because the Greek Madonna, the most worshipped deity in the Orthodox pantheon, took over the myriad names that were used to address her female predecedor.

Chiara Cavallo comes to Athens with a project combining jewellery to urban and cultural development. It is hard to miss the traces of Archaic, Classical, Roman, Byzantine, Osmanic, Bavarian, Art Deco, Bauhaus, Modernism periods if you look carefully at the city. Chiara will incorporate these traces into her jewellery. The mobile art medium will thus become a moving archive of the city development but also, through the choices of the wearer, a compass to the future.

It is also hard to miss in Chiara’s project the charming allusion made to the Flaneur tradition, a literary genre that flourished in Germany and Central Europe in the 20th century and refers to the rediscovery of the city by its walking “hommes (et femmes) de lettres“.

The city of Athens is a stratification of habits and populations which have left traces on the local culture and have impressed the morphology of the city.
I investigate how the city have changed throught the inteventions and how it keeps its origins without losing its authenticity“, Chiara says.

The work I developed is a result of manipulations on materials to change the appearance of the material itself. The viewer can still recognise the traces of my process’ actions. The jewelry become a container of meanings where all the variations are considered added values to the original object

We are welcoming Chiara Cavallo as our seventh Artist In Residence/One Artist A Week at Cine Trianon Athens. We started the project as a creative response to U.S. artist Rick Lowe’s call for submissions to develop even further his Athens Documenta 14 urban project “Victoria Square” aka “Social sculpture”.

Instituto Italiano di Cultura, the Cultural Bureau of the Embassy of Italy in Greece, is a Communication Supporter of the show.

Chiara Cavallo also participates in our “Initiation” team for Sieraad Jewellery Art Fair Amsterdam, 9-12 November 2017.

If you are interested in our Artist In Residence Programme/Athens 2018 or our “Initiation/Munich Jewellery Week 2018” project, please contact us: loukiarichards@gmx.de

LINKS:

http://www.chiarajewels.com

http://www.cinetrianon.gr

http://www.leaveyourcrisis.com

http://www.initiation2017.com

www-zlr-betriebsimperium.tk