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Kadri Mälk Hunt: book «a grammar of affects»*

Recensão e Entrevista por Cristina Filipe
Abril 2019
* English version bellow

 Cristina_huntA.jpg

 

All human feelings and states
compassion, love, emphaty, sadness, loneliness, forgetting, leaving are presente
in jewellery.
Kadri Mälk, Hunt:, p. 19
 

O livro Hunt: Kadri Mälk’s Jewellery Collection, da artista estoniana Kadri Mälk, foi apresentado pela primeira vez ao público em Munique, no dia 14 de março passado, e é a terceira publicação da autora em colaboração com a editora arnoldsche Art Publishers. O livro reúne algumas das obras que constituem a coleção de joalharia que a autora iniciou na década de 1990. Apresenta 189 joias de 127 artistas e convida 105 pessoas a serem retratadas com as joias eleitas. «People and Their Choices» da escritora Viivi Luik, «A Collection of Black» de Liesbeth den Besten, «A Dialogue between Kafka and Mowgli» de Una Meistere e «For Kadri» de Tanel Veenre refletem sobre a coleção e a artista. São quatro ensaios, a ler, que encerram o livro. A artista assina o prefácio e mostra, ao longo do livro, imagens intimistas e fragmentos de objetos pessoais da sua casa em Tallinn. Naturezas mortas de objetos vivos, memórias, livros, cartas, artefactos, selos e gravuras.

 HUNT_9_23_130_394-x.jpg

 

O caderno de notas com o retrato de Fernando Pessoa na capa e a frase «There are no norms. All people are exceptions to the rule that doesn't exist» (p. 9), que a artista usa sempre que visita Lisboa, o convite da sua última exposição, «Post-testament», que teve lugar, em Lisboa, no Manuel Castilho Antiguidades (p. 394) – onde apresentou o colar Charming Like Night, realizado com «percebes» portugueses, ébano, prata escurecida e bronze, que generosamente me ofereceu –, e o 9 e 10 de paus encontrados por acaso nas escadas da Travessa da Portuguesa (p. 23) referem a longa, fiel e estreita relação da autora com Portugal, que lhe valeu a Ordem de Mérito atribuída pelo Presidente Jorge Sampaio, aquando da sua visita de Estado à Estónia em 2003.

 Portugal_Aa.jpg

 

O livro não documenta apenas a coleção, transcende-a. É um livro de artista em que alguns dos exemplares são intervencionados com pequenas colagens: desenhos, palavras e fragmentos de materiais e «objetos» que a artista elege e que dão ênfase às suas frases manuscritas sobre os retratos, ao longo do livro, ajudando o leitor a ler e a ver para além da presença performativa que cada convidado assume na forma como se relaciona com a joia, bem como no modo como ambos foram fixados.

A galeria de retratos, se assim podemos chamar, é composta por uma rede de familiares, amigos e conhecidos que Kadri Mälk convidou a usar uma ou mais joias da sua coleção. Muito embora alguns sejam artistas, nunca acontece o artista usar a joia que realizou. Cada artista é convidado a usar joias de outro artista, que ele elegeu ou que a autora indicou. Depois de Testament, o livro anterior, onde Mälk compila o seu legado artístico, Hunt: Kadri Mälk’s Jewellery Collection dá-nos a conhecer uma outra face da história da sua vida, através das pessoas que elegeu e das joias que coleciona, pois cada escolha, seja da pessoa ou da joia, fala-nos, sobretudo, de si própria.

O gesto fixado por olhares de diferentes fotógrafos no momento do encontro da pessoa e da joia, é efémero. Trata-se mais de um gesto fugaz do que de uma ação voluntária, determinada e performática, que em cada caso encontra um clímax. O livro narra, assim, uma série de curtos scripts cinematográficos, breves histórias sobre como cada convidado gere o seu encontro. Para além da presença no retrato, a joia é sempre cuidadosamente mostrada fora do corpo, inteira ou fragmentada, aleatoriamente à direita ou à esquerda da imagem com a pessoa. O artista e designer estoniano Jaanus Samma desenhou este livro com uma atenção singular e mesmo os detalhes acidentais foram prudentemente planeados. É precisa e dinâmica a forma como gere a escala e as proporções, ao longo das 400 páginas, e são muitas (e difíceis ) as situações a equilibrar, entre pessoas, peças de joalharia e palavras «expressionistas» de Kadri. Cada dupla página é uma nova janela que se abre. Uma nova narrativa. Não se trata de continuidade, mas de uma disrupção contínua, de momentos sequenciados onde a coleção de joalharia de Kadri e os seus convidados desempenham um importante papel.

De Portugal, Hunt: Kadri Mälk’s Jewellery Collection integra joias de Manuel Vilhena (2011), Ana Cardim (2018), Inês Nunes (2018), Carla Castiajo (2014-2018), Lidija Kolovrat (2019) e mostra, acidentalmente, uma obra de minha autoria (2008). Paula Crespo e eu fomos convidadas a usarmos joias de Ana Cardim e Inês Nunes, e de Darja Popolitova e Deganit Stern Schoken, respetivamente. O meu retrato com as duas joias foi realizado na Sala Bernardo Sassetti do São Luiz Teatro Municipal, durante a última visita de Kadri Mälk a Lisboa. O grande fresco do cenógrafo Luigi Manini que inaugurou o então designado Theatro D. Amélia, em 1894, serviu de fundo. O olhar silencioso de Taivo Müürsepp fixou o momento em que subi ao palco para ser adornada, com a pulseira de Deganit Stern Schocken e o broche de Darja Popolitova, por Kadri (p. 130).

 Cristina__shootingB.jpg

 

Reconcialiação (p. 296) foi realizado para a mostra Just Must [Só Preto] que celebrou o 50.º aniversário da artista, em 2008. Uma folha de papel preto retangular, suspensa verticalmente à minha frente, foi intervencionada por quatro cortes paralelos que ao cair enrolaram em espiral deixando vislumbrar um fragmento do meu rosto e da minha mão. Este gesto performativo foi registado fotograficamente e impresso numa edição de três, uma das quais faz parte da coleção de Kadri Mälk e encontra-se exposta na sala de sua casa em Tallinn. No registo fotográfico de Mälk, enquanto Beata Ratsanik, com a peça Hun, Hong tai yang de Ruudt Peters nas suas costas, para Hunt: Kadri Mälk’s Jewellery Collection, Kadri posicionou-se à frente desta obra permitindo assim vislumbrá-la como fundo. Gerando (in)voluntariamente um tête-à-tête com a sua dark syster. A desejada materialização do negro é consolidada nesta imagem. Qual corpo ressuscitado.

 

HUNT_282-283x.jpg

 

O anel esculpido em madeira pintada de amarelo de Manuel Vilhena, usado pela ilustradora Anne Pikkov (p. 283), sublinha a eminente presença do preto nesta coleção, criando uma disrupção, tal como o anel Restart em bronze dourado de Ana Cardim que a artista e galerista Paula Crespo usa na mão junto com as duas pérolas pendente de silicone e prata de Inês Nunes penduradas na orelha (p. 163). Estas, sim, aqui presentes por Nunes, tal como o artista Christo, ter camuflado as duas pérolas com silicone negro.

O par de pulseiras Wild em cabelo preto humano, têxtil e prata oxidada que Carla Castiajo realizou na Academia de Arte em Tallinn, durante o seu projeto de doutoramento orientado por Kadri Mälk e pelo artista e professor Robert Baines, repousam na mão do arquiteto e professor Toomas Tammis, acariciando-o (p. 249).

 HUNT_248-249.jpg

 

E o colar de Lidija Kolovrat é lançado, ludicamente, ao ar pelo artista e designer Jaanus Samma, designer do livro, tornando possível vislumbrar a forma cúbica que a linha de contas em ónix desenha.

Estas joias são, contudo, as joias de Kadri. As joias que Kadri transporta fisicamente no corpo e espiritualmente na alma, daí o livro ser de facto uma mise-en-scène de estados que metaforicamente nos dão a conhecer as várias facetas da sua pessoa. Um diamante negro, em bruto, aqui lapidado a várias mãos e dedicado pela autora a Hilja, sua mãe biológica, à professora Kuldkepp, sua mãe académica, e a Tanel (Veenre), seu filho académico.

 

HUNT_114-115.jpg

 
Untitled-1.jpg
 
Happiness is a way of life, one has to believe into it.
On its breast a bird is having its nest.
Kadri Mälk, Hunt:, p. 130

 

Cristina Filipe: When you buy a piece a jewellery to include in your collection, it’s probably a matter of passion, a fatal attraction, with a certain meaning behind it, and also because of your own taste and personal wearability. But underlying this, is there a concern to support the artists who make them? Especially when they are young artists like your students? Do you want to motivate them and fight against the difficulties that the art world has to deal with? Is this a motivation or is it not on your mind at all?

Kadri Mälk: It is a cliché to presume that buying a piece of jewellery from students and emerging stars is a kind of financial support for them. It has actually been so only in a couple of cases.

I do agree that the fact that I buy work from students and ex-students is motivating to them and elevates their self-confidence and courage, as well as their commitment. It accelerates developments in the field, I hope.

The quality, as well as the spiritual quality, is what counts above all. «Life, you know, is about ideas, not about jackets» – as a fashionista told us. And it’s the same for established artists, actually. When a collector or a museum appreciates your work and proposes to buy it – it’s motivating, indeed. These are questions about credibility. Jewellery is a matter of faith.

Another cliché that gets around is that many pieces have been given as presents. I especially checked the proportion. In my case – my collection embodies over 300 artefacts –, about one third are gifts. And these are mainly from «big names» such as Peter Skubic, Otto Künzli, Ruudt Peters, Robert Baines, Karl Fritsch, Tanel Veenre. And there are swaps, of course, which is usual among artists – a sign of appreciation and trust. And there are thanks and awards as well – Hermann Jünger, Tasso Mattar, to name only a few.

The collection expands also because of my travels. In Munich last March, I bought in Galerie Door a marvellous conceptual signet ring «Optical Illusion» by a Dutch couple, Hartog & Henneman – which is actually a brooch. In the Gulbenkian Museum shop in Lisbon, I smelled and found a ring by Ana Cardim and in Galeria Reverso – a dark piece by Inês Nunes. And finally, also a black onyx «Cube» neckpiece by Lidija Kolovrat. The last Portuguese piece I purchased is «Wild» by my PhD ex-student Carla Castiajo. Portuguese jewellery is special, I feel there a vibration of saudade present which touches me. [A nostalgic sense of yearning that is so well expressed in Portuguese.]

«Jewellery is My Dearest Sin» was the title of an exhibition by Petra Zimmermann (Austria) and Philip Sajet (France) at Galerie Biró in Munich. I have to admit that’s true.

 

Cristina Filipe: Looking carefully at the collection you present in your book, I find no evidence that black, or matter, is an imposition, as Liesbeth den Besten says in the title of her text. Manuel Vilhena’s yellow ring, for instances, proves the opposite. Can you tell us about your special attachment to this yellow piece and the reason why it is part of your collection and somehow breaks with the pre-conception that black is an imposition or rule that dictates your choices? 

Kadri Mälk: Black is a queen of all the colours, that’s my belief.
But black can also be not only physically black, but metaphysically, a dark drama. Black dog, Black Friday …

In case of Manuel’s yellow ring – I do see there a windmill fighting against contradictions, an explosion. I am not sure if it is a sunny piece – although Manuel is a sunny boy. But sometimes things do have a double core.

Derek Jarman has a marvellous book – «Chroma», with a chapter called «O Mia Anima Nera». Sometimes, I read it over and over again.

 

Cristina Filipe: Going through your book, I realise that perhaps you give more importance to the people you represent and invite than to the jewellery itself. Do you think it’s a book about a jewellery collection or perhaps more a book about a collection of «human beings» and the importance you give to each person in your life? For instance, their names appear to have a stronger presence than the names of the artists.

Kadri Mälk: At a crucial moment I realised – as I say in the intro to my book: all human feelings and states – compassion, love, empathy, sadness, loneliness, forgetting, leaving – are present in jewellery. The oscillating frequency of our senses, our curiosity, our vulnerability, our need for beauty and harmony, our need to resist – it’s all there.

A piece of jewellery has the power of a promissory note allowing us to take a step back from the everyday grind of our lives.

I tried to tie a knot between the personalities around me and the jewellery. Each person among them has influenced my life as well as every piece of jewellery in my collection. Even a sad experience is an experience.

I collect blindly – as we fall in love blindly. Like an epiphany: you consequently make the choice, decisions are born behind closed eyelids. Like a sniffer dog that can smell and find exactly what it’s looking for. That’s an ultra-smell that guides you and you can’t argue with this smell.

 

Cristina Filipe: The poetical phrases throughout the book seem sudden thoughts about each case, a combination of words like a long poem you let drop somehow as a «signature in blood», that emphasises your relationship to each jewellery + person. Can you tell us more about these sentences and as well about the list of books mentioned in the end.

Kadri Mälk: Blood is an important phenomenon in our life. Blood never sleeps.

You cannot replace your own blood. I have tried to share it with others. Investigating subjects and interests and feelings that I have carried with me all along.

Matthias Becher, from arnoldsche, who moderated the book presentation in Munich, started his talk with the confession that he starts to read books from the end. And when he saw the references back there to HUNT:, he was surprised to find such a assortment, a mixture where he noticed completely out-of-place books that were just in place. An oxymoron. Of course, I couldn’t name everything that has influenced my way of living and feeling. For sure Carl Gustav Jung is missing and all the Kafka translated by Mati Sirkel into Estonian. With regard to Portuguese authors, besides Pessoa, Inês Pedrosa has left an impact.

 

Cristina Filipe: The several beautiful still-life images that traverse the book throughout the pages highlight your intimacy with them, and tells us more about your inner soul. Some of the objects are references to your love affair with Lisbon?

Kadri Mälk: Yes, you are right, the booklet on page 9 has the portrait of Pessoa. It was my diary during my stay in Lisboa. I bought it in a bookshop near the statue of Pessoa. It’s a ritual for me to visit this place and I liked the quote on the cover of the booklet: There are no norms. All people are exceptions to the rule that doesn’t exist. The cards on page 23 in HUNT: suddenly appeared from the air on the stairs of Travessa da Portuguesa, near Praça Luís de Camões, by the house where I happened to live while I was teaching in Ar.Co. I revisit the street every single time I am in Lisbon again, such good memories... this time I was climbing the steps to reach viewpoint near Santa Catarina... suddenly the cards fell onto the pathway and I picked them up to see my fate... now I’m making a brooch about the happening.

 HUNT_9_23_130_394-4.jpg

 

Cristina Filipe: Can you share your impressions about the book itself?

Kadri Mälk: I’m touched that you noticed my dedication in the book. The trinity – my beloved Mom, my professor and my talented ex-student, nowadays a good friend and colleague – have influenced my life in the same hypnotic way as the jewellery around me, as all the people around me in the book.

And something else. In an encrypted way, I’ve tried to convince myself and others that publishing this kind of book can be financed only with private support – some contemporary art Maecenas. «You are a bit of a dreamer, a true idealist, aren’t you?» So, I was warned. But it was possible, indeed! It worked out! Even in Estonia, in a small country where its wealth is its forests, full of wolves!

One of the supporters told me on receiving a copy: the book is sensitive to its very core and energetically pregnant. I couldn’t imagine a better reflection. If someone believes in you, you are given credit without even being aware of it. Without the other person being aware of it either. Just trust. This phenomenon proves its universal validity.

 

 Hunt_CoverA.jpg

Hunt: Kadri Mälk’s Jewellery Collection

400 páginas
18 x 30 cm, 368 imagens

Capa dura
Inglês / Estoniano

Textos: Kadri Mälk, Viivi Luik, Liesbeth den Besten, Una Meistere, Tanel Veenre

Design: Jaanus Samma

 

Preço: 44 euros (membros PIN 35 euros) + despesas de envio

Encomenda Membros PIN: Este endereço de email está protegido contra piratas. Necessita ativar o JavaScript para o visualizar.

 

+ info: www.arnoldsche.com

 

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English version

 

Kadri Mälk's book Hunt:, «a grammar of affects»

Book review and interview by Cristina Filipe
April 2019
Translation: Carole Garton
Julia_Walter.jpg
All human feelings and states
compassion, love, emphaty, sadness, loneliness, forgetting, leaving are presente
in jewellery.
Kadri Mälk, Hunt:, p. 19
 

Hunt: Kadri Mälk’s Jewellery Collection by the Estonian artist, prof Kadri Mälk was presented to the public for the first time in Munich on 14 March 2020; it’s her third book in collaboration with arnoldsche Art Publishers. It brings together almost half of the pieces in the jewellery collection she began in the 1990s and shows 189 pieces by 127 artists and photographs of 105 people who were invited to be photographed with chosen pieces. ‘People and Their Choices’ by the writer Viivi Luik, ‘A Collection of Black’ by Liesbeth den Besten, ‘A Dialogue between Kafka and Mowgli’ by Una Meistere and ‘For Kadri’ by Tanel Veenre reflect on the collection and Kadri. They are four essays to read that close the book. Kadri Mälk wrote the introduction and throughout the book, intimate images and personal fragments of objects in her home in Tallinn. Still-lifeimages, memories, books, letters, artefacts, stamps and engravings.

There’s the precious notebook Kadri always has with her in Lisbon, with Fernando Pessoa on its cover with the guiding words ‘There are no norms. All people are exceptions to the rule that doesn’t exist’ (p.9); an invitation to ‘Post-testament’, her impressive and dark last exhibition in Lisbon at Manuel Castilho Antiguidades (p. 394) – where she presents the iconic necklace “Charming Like Night” made with Portuguese ebony, paint, ‘percebes’ (goose barnacles), darkened silver and bronze (generously offered me) –, and two playing cards that she found by chance on the steps in Travessa da Portuguesa (p. 23). All these are part of her long, faithful and intimate relationship with Portugal, which was recognised when President Jorge Sampaio awarded her the Portuguese Order of Merit during his visit to Estonia in 2003.

The book doesn’t document only her collection, it transcends it. It’s an artist’s book and several copies contain small collages: a choice of drawings, words, and fragments of materials and ‘objects’ to underscore her written phrases on the portraits throughout the book, helping the reader to look and read beyond the performative presence each guest assumes in their relationship to the piece of jewellery, as well as how both are fixed on paper.

This gallery of portraits, if we may call it that, consists of a network of relatives, friends and acquaintances that Kadri invited to wear one or more pieces from her collection. Although many are artists themselves, only two have chosen to wear their own creations (pp. 72, 317). Each artist was asked to wear a piece created by another artist they chose or Kadri indicated in some rare cases. After the previous book, Testament, in which she assembled her artistic legacy, Kadri in Hunt: Kadri Mälk’s Jewellery Collection shows us another side to her life story through the people she chose and the pieces she collected because each choice, whether person or piece, tells us – most of all - about Kadri’s identity.

Gestures fixed by the eyes of different photographers at the instant of meeting between person and piece of jewellery are ephemeral. They’re more fleeting gestures that intentional, determined and performative actions that find in each case a climax. The book is a narration of a series of short film scripts, brief stories about how each of these people deals with this encounter. Apart from its presence in the photo with someone, the piece, complete or fragmented, is also always beautiful and carefully shown, on its own placed randomly to the right or left of the photo with the person. The artist Jaanus Samma designed this book with singular attention to each detail, even the accidental ones have been prudently planned. It is precise and dynamic the way he deals with scale and proportion along 400 pages, and they are many (and hard) to balance, between people, jewellery pieces and Kadri ‘expressionist’ words. Each spread is a new window view. A new storytelling. So, it is not about continuity, but a continuous disruption of sequence moments where Kadri’s jewellery collection and her guests play an important role.

Hunt: Kadri Mälk’s Jewellery Collection includes pieces of jewellery from Portugal created by Manuel Vilhena (2011), Ana Cardim (2018), Inês Nunes (2018), Carla Castiajo (2014-2018), Lidija Kolovrat (2019) and, by chance, a work of mine (2008). Paula Crespo and I were invited to wear pieces by Ana Cardim and Inês Nunes, as well as Darja Popolitova and Deganit Stern Schoken respectively. My photo session took place in Sala Bernardo Sassetti at the São Luiz Teatro Municipal, during one of Kadri’s visits to Lisbon. A large fresco by stage designer Luigi Manini, who opened what was then called Theatro D. Amélia in 1894, served as the backdrop. Taivo Müürsepp silent and wise eyes fixed the moment when I stepped onto the stage for Kadri to adorn me with the charming Deganit Stern Schocken’s bracelet and the powerful Darja Popolitova’s brooch (p. 130).

 HUNT 296 297

 

Reconcialiação (p. 296) was created for the ‘Just Must’ [‘Só Preto’] spiritual and celestial international jewellery art exhibition in 2008. Kadri Mälk invited 58 artists to exhibit in the grand hall of the History Museum of Estonia – to celebrate her 50th birthday, – a kind of present to her friends. A rectangular sheet of black paper was suspended vertically in front of me and interacted with four parallel cuts that spiralled down allowing a fragment of my face and hand to be seen. This performative gesture was photographed and 3 prints were made, one of which is in Kadri’s collection and hangs in a room in her house in Tallinn. In her photographic session, while Beata Ratsanik with Ruudt Peters’ Hun, Hong tai yang piece on his back for Hunt: Kadri Mälk’s Jewellery Collection, Kadri stood in front of this work allowing us to see it behind her in the background, thereby (un)intentionally creating a tête-à-tête with me, her dark sister. The sought-after materialisation of black is consolidated in this image. Like a resurrected body.

Manuel Vilhena’s carved wooden ring painted yellow is worn by the illustrator Anne Pikkov (p. 283) and highlights the eminent presence of black in this collection and causes a disruption. Likewise, Ana Cardim’s gilt bronze Restart ring, which artist and gallery owner Paula Crespo wears next to Inês Nunes’ two silicone and silver pearls hanging from her ear (p. 163). These are indeed presented because Nunes, just as the artist Christo, camouflaged the two pearls with black silicone.

The tactile pair of Wild bracelets made with black human hair, textile and oxidised silver that Carlo Castiajo created at the Academy of Arts in Tallinn for her doctorate project, under the co-supervision of prof Kadri Mälk and artist, prof Robert Baines, lie in the hand of architect, prof Toomas Tammis, who strokes it (p. 249).

Lidija Kolovrat’s necklace is playfully thrown into the air by the visual artist and designer Jaanus Samma, the book’s graphic designer, enabling us to see the drawn cubic form of a line of onyx beads.

However, these pieces of jewellery are Kadri’s collection. The jewellery pieces she carries physically on her body and spiritually in her soul. This is why the book is really a mise-en-scène of states that metaphorically reveal her diverse facets. Various hands have lapidated a rough black diamond here and it’s dedicated to Hilja, her biological mother, to prof Kuldkepp, her academic mother, and to Tanel (Veenre), her academic son.

 

Untitled-1.jpg
 
Happiness is a way of life, one has to believe into it.
On its breast a bird is having its nest.
Kadri Mälk, Hunt:, p. 130

 

Cristina Filipe: When you buy a piece a jewellery to include in your collection, it’s probably a matter of passion, a fatal attraction, with a certain meaning behind it, and also because of your own taste and personal wearability. But underlying this, is there a concern to support the artists who make them? Especially when they are young artists like your students? Do you want to motivate them and fight against the difficulties that the art world has to deal with? Is this a motivation or is it not on your mind at all?

Kadri Mälk: It is a cliché to presume that buying a piece of jewellery from students and emerging stars is a kind of financial support for them. It has actually been so only in a couple of cases.

I do agree that the fact that I buy work from students and ex-students is motivating to them and elevates their self-confidence and courage, as well as their commitment. It accelerates developments in the field, I hope.

The quality, as well as the spiritual quality, is what counts above all. «Life, you know, is about ideas, not about jackets» – as a fashionista told us. And it’s the same for established artists, actually. When a collector or a museum appreciates your work and proposes to buy it – it’s motivating, indeed. These are questions about credibility. Jewellery is a matter of faith.

Another cliché that gets around is that many pieces have been given as presents. I especially checked the proportion. In my case – my collection embodies over 300 artefacts –, about one third are gifts. And these are mainly from «big names» such as Peter Skubic, Otto Künzli, Ruudt Peters, Robert Baines, Karl Fritsch, Tanel Veenre. And there are swaps, of course, which is usual among artists – a sign of appreciation and trust. And there are thanks and awards as well – Hermann Jünger, Tasso Mattar, to name only a few.

The collection expands also because of my travels. In Munich last March, I bought in Galerie Door a marvellous conceptual signet ring «Optical Illusion» by a Dutch couple, Hartog & Henneman – which is actually a brooch. In the Gulbenkian Museum shop in Lisbon, I smelled and found a ring by Ana Cardim and in Galeria Reverso – a dark piece by Inês Nunes. And finally, also a black onyx «Cube» neckpiece by Lidija Kolovrat. The last Portuguese piece I purchased is «Wild» by my PhD ex-student Carla Castiajo. Portuguese jewellery is special, I feel there a vibration of saudade present which touches me. [A nostalgic sense of yearning that is so well expressed in Portuguese.]

«Jewellery is My Dearest Sin» was the title of an exhibition by Petra Zimmermann (Austria) and Philip Sajet (France) at Galerie Biró in Munich. I have to admit that’s true.

 

Cristina Filipe: Looking carefully at the collection you present in your book, I find no evidence that black, or matter, is an imposition, as Liesbeth den Besten says in the title of her text. Manuel Vilhena’s yellow ring, for instances, proves the opposite. Can you tell us about your special attachment to this yellow piece and the reason why it is part of your collection and somehow breaks with the pre-conception that black is an imposition or rule that dictates your choices? 

Kadri Mälk: Black is a queen of all the colours, that’s my belief.
But black can also be not only physically black, but metaphysically, a dark drama. Black dog, Black Friday …

In case of Manuel’s yellow ring – I do see there a windmill fighting against contradictions, an explosion. I am not sure if it is a sunny piece – although Manuel is a sunny boy. But sometimes things do have a double core.

Derek Jarman has a marvellous book – «Chroma», with a chapter called «O Mia Anima Nera». Sometimes, I read it over and over again.

 

Cristina Filipe: Going through your book, I realise that perhaps you give more importance to the people you represent and invite than to the jewellery itself. Do you think it’s a book about a jewellery collection or perhaps more a book about a collection of «human beings» and the importance you give to each person in your life? For instance, their names appear to have a stronger presence than the names of the artists.

Kadri Mälk: At a crucial moment I realised – as I say in the intro to my book: all human feelings and states – compassion, love, empathy, sadness, loneliness, forgetting, leaving – are present in jewellery. The oscillating frequency of our senses, our curiosity, our vulnerability, our need for beauty and harmony, our need to resist – it’s all there.

A piece of jewellery has the power of a promissory note allowing us to take a step back from the everyday grind of our lives.

I tried to tie a knot between the personalities around me and the jewellery. Each person among them has influenced my life as well as every piece of jewellery in my collection. Even a sad experience is an experience.

I collect blindly – as we fall in love blindly. Like an epiphany: you consequently make the choice, decisions are born behind closed eyelids. Like a sniffer dog that can smell and find exactly what it’s looking for. That’s an ultra-smell that guides you and you can’t argue with this smell.

 

Cristina Filipe: The poetical phrases throughout the book seem sudden thoughts about each case, a combination of words like a long poem you let drop somehow as a «signature in blood», that emphasises your relationship to each jewellery + person. Can you tell us more about these sentences and as well about the list of books mentioned in the end.

Kadri Mälk: Blood is an important phenomenon in our life. Blood never sleeps.

You cannot replace your own blood. I have tried to share it with others. Investigating subjects and interests and feelings that I have carried with me all along.

Matthias Becher, from arnoldsche, who moderated the book presentation in Munich, started his talk with the confession that he starts to read books from the end. And when he saw the references back there to HUNT:, he was surprised to find such a assortment, a mixture where he noticed completely out-of-place books that were just in place. An oxymoron. Of course, I couldn’t name everything that has influenced my way of living and feeling. For sure Carl Gustav Jung is missing and all the Kafka translated by Mati Sirkel into Estonian. With regard to Portuguese authors, besides Pessoa, Inês Pedrosa has left an impact.

 

Cristina Filipe: The several beautiful still-life images that traverse the book throughout the pages highlight your intimacy with them, and tells us more about your inner soul. Some of the objects are references to your love affair with Lisbon?

Kadri Mälk: Yes, you are right, the booklet on page 9 has the portrait of Pessoa. It was my diary during my stay in Lisboa. I bought it in a bookshop near the statue of Pessoa. It’s a ritual for me to visit this place and I liked the quote on the cover of the booklet: There are no norms. All people are exceptions to the rule that doesn’t exist. The cards on page 23 in HUNT: suddenly appeared from the air on the stairs of Travessa da Portuguesa, near Praça Luís de Camões, by the house where I happened to live while I was teaching in Ar.Co. I revisit the street every single time I am in Lisbon again, such good memories... this time I was climbing the steps to reach viewpoint near Santa Catarina... suddenly the cards fell onto the pathway and I picked them up to see my fate... now I’m making a brooch about the happening.

 

Cristina Filipe: Can you share your impressions about the book itself?

Kadri Mälk: I’m touched that you noticed my dedication in the book. The trinity – my beloved Mom, my professor and my talented ex-student, nowadays a good friend and colleague – have influenced my life in the same hypnotic way as the jewellery around me, as all the people around me in the book.

And something else. In an encrypted way, I’ve tried to convince myself and others that publishing this kind of book can be financed only with private support – some contemporary art Maecenas. «You are a bit of a dreamer, a true idealist, aren’t you?» So, I was warned. But it was possible, indeed! It worked out! Even in Estonia, in a small country where its wealth is its forests, full of wolves!

One of the supporters told me on receiving a copy: the book is sensitive to its very core and energetically pregnant. I couldn’t imagine a better reflection. If someone believes in you, you are given credit without even being aware of it. Without the other person being aware of it either. Just trust. This phenomenon proves its universal validity.

 

 

 Hunt_CoverA.jpg

Hunt: Kadri Mälk’s Jewellery Collection

400 pages
18 x 30 cm, 368 images

Hardcover
English / Estonian

Texts: Kadri Mälk, Viivi Luik, Liesbeth den Besten, Una Meistere, Tanel Veenre

Design: Jaanus Samma

 

Price: 44 euros (PIN members 35 euros) + shipping costs

Order PIN Members: Este endereço de email está protegido contra piratas. Necessita ativar o JavaScript para o visualizar.

 

+ info: www.arnoldsche.com

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