Is politics the “new black”?

British Vogue (August issue) features an article on the sad changes in the (former) vibrant art scene of Istanbul one year after the failed coup d’etat, a piece on hackers and security threads in the internet (including Isis terror) and a reporting on how dressing for business dictates the trend for the next winter season.

These are topics you may also read in the Weekend Art & Design Section of the Financial Times. However, the readers of the FT earn their bread and butter in the capital markets and turn to art and design for prestige, entertainment and investment of their spare capital.

For readers like myself following the British Vogue for more than three decades the issue reflects a major change. We have witnessed something similar last year, when US Vogue endorsed a POTUS candidate, namely Hillary Clinton. Fashion, design and applied arts mixing up with politics is indeed not new, however it is a trend to welcome.

The British Vogue is a society scanner. Its editors predict what is going to be common place in art, design and fashion the coming years.

Art, design and fashion – needless to say – are not disconnected to society, politics, world of ideas, dominant social discourses.


Is being “political” the new trend in fashion, art and design?

Is it the “new black”?

Jewellery due to its mobile quality is an ideal medium to “agitprop” in public space.

Will we be soon inflated by political jewellery makers as the Current Obsession March 2017/Munich Jewellery Week issue insinuated to be a growing segment in our field?

Is being, for example, “anti-neoliberal” or “anti-globalisation” or “anti-capitalism” the right attitude that will get us in the club?

Will the jewellery summer seminar listings change from “discover your inner self” to “be a good activist in three steps?”.

And if we do get to be more political, will we make more meaningful jewellery?

I am afraid things are more complicated than that.

Politics is a word coming from the Greek: Polis/City translated in having to do with the affairs of the city or in free translation: it is about how equal rights citizens co-decide and manage the affairs of their common ground in the best way possible for every one of them involved and for the city as a whole. Thus, the concept of politics includes debate, compromise and action.


Last December Christoph and I decided to give ourselves a few months break from foggy Hamburg and come to sunny Greece. It is a country with acute social, political and financial problems accumulated over the years.

We discovered a rich down to earth – I dare say – “spiritual” tradition which I dare to call “political”, a tradition based not on individual and instant salvation but on collective experiencing and sharing; a tradition of vivid exchange of ideas and thoughts; you witness it at the bakery, in the bus stop, among strangers, at the cafe between political opponents.

We discovered a fascinating, earth bound, highly inspiring “Here and Now” connecting the ones who experience it to milennia long rituals and traditions still alive.

Life in Greece ignited our desire to learn, understand, act and share.

We try to condense and transfer this experience in the show series we call “Initiation”.

Initiation I” was shown at Florian Trampler Gallery during Munich Jewellery Week 2017 and is followed by “Initiation II” at Sieraad International Jewellery Art Fair (November 2017) featuring eight artists from seven countries.

“Initiation III/Kalli’horon” is the Athens AIR-Munich Jewellery Week 2018 program starting in a few months from now. “Initiation III/Kalli’horon” ambitions to establish synergies between jewellery, movement and politics.

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:


What makes SCHMUCKWOCHE MÜNCHEN so special?

Photo: “Shopping mall” at Galerie der Künstler, Munich. Credit: Christoph Ziegler.

Here is a list of reasons.

  1. You meet old friends. You make new friends. You meet so many people with the same passion: Jewellery. You get feedback.
  2. MJW has a strickt structure AND gives you a lot of freedom to improvise or add your own contribution. That makes a great mixture!
  3. Innovation is written on Bavarian culture + business sector DNA. This is the city to see, meet, follow avant garde art.
  4. MJW feels like a 4 days long urban party. You get high and there is no side effects or a day after!
  5. You mentor for free, you get mentored for free (always ask questions!).
  6. You meet jewellery art’s “legendary monsters” (and they do not bite!).
  7. You exchange/trade/swap insider information.
  8. You brainstorm for hours over a glas of beer planning new ventures, discussing new impulses, forging new alliances.
  9. You get so many offers and tips to develop your business or enter new territories.
  10.  Munich is one of the major art cities of Europe: Alte Pinakothek, Villa Stuck, Pinakothek der Moderne, Glyptothek – just to mention a few addresses of world class significance. It is the ideal environment for artists, art critics, art dealers and art lovers.

SCHMUCK, Munich Jewellery Week and Business Week, Munich Creative Business Week: there are various facets of the big March event for the city of Munich. Behind the above mentioned institutions you find long term passion, planning, expertise, commitment and vision. There are many “art or jewellery weeks” around the world, but it is not the same. However their organizers can certainly profit from the experience of MJW; never forget: Rome was not build in a day!


After Myths 2015 and Test Drive 2016, Initiation 2017 was our third participation in MJW. We will be back with a new project next year, for we hate standardisation and would be bored to death if we had to repeat the same patterns of success!


Marietta Karamaria: Artemis means the Avenger

Photo credit: Panagiotis Skouloukas

A hunter shoots deer in a state protected reserve and his co-villagers protect him with “omerta“.

Who-dunn-it? Nobody knows…

The deer, Artemis’ sacred animal, a totemic relic from the pre-Olympian period, ignites Marietta Karamaria’s protest through a new jewellery series named: “Averting Artemis”.

“Devoted and caring as the goddess Artemis, I try to protest for all the burned forests and murdered deer in my island, by transforming my work to a means of raising my voice to defend their rights.
In my new series, I reflect upon a young “Punk Artemis” who fights for her environment and use mostly natural materials and edgy forms to create strong statements through my jewellery”.

The hubris committed is always followed by the nemesis.


Christoph Ziegler: “Today’s trash is tomorrow’s gold.”

Photo: Square Brooch. 2017.

Square_01.JPGChristoph Ziegler’s „Broom Brooches“ are wearable collages made of plastic pieces and household objects the artist collects at the beach or purchases at gipsy „trash“ markets in Greece. Ziegler’s colorful concentric objects make allusions to the shine and glamour of precious jewellery and make fun of the various genres of popular culture such as Punk, Pop, Comic and Sci-Fi.

Gabriele Hinze: Jewellery is a wearable transcript of life!

Photo: “Organ 1”.

Gabriele Hinze of Berlin loves to talk about her jewellery in poetic riddles!

Meet the artist at Initiation 2017 – Munich Jewellery Week.

brooch 'organ1' photo Gabriele Hinze  P1340864.jpg


“passing by,

from the corner of my eye

I’m getting caught on something,

a twinkle of


prominence in small things,

in details

often ephemeral, fugacious,

hardly visible,

at the edge of perceptibility




become peculiar,

bother me

then I’m looking for a way

to transcribe them into my jewellery”


Julika Müller: It fascinates me that the pieces disappear…


I cast jewellery and objects

in steel, silver, bronze and aluminium.

It fascinates me that the pieces


not to be seen again

They have undergone a process,


and this process has left traces.


Ich gieße Schmuck und Objekte in Edelstahl oder Bronze.

Es fasziniert mich, daß die Stücke zwischendurch verschwinden,


”7 Jahre auf dem Ofen liegen” und nicht mehr zu sehen sind.

Sie legen Wege zurück, ohne mich, und diese Wege hinterlassen