Curating contemporary jewellery
SCHMUCK Review 1
With Christian Hoedl, director of a new gallery for contemporary jewellery C AND THE ARTIST, we talked about curating jewellery as a galerist. Thereby it is about what is needed in the field, how he understand his role as a curator and in which way he brings his attitude in the project, the room and the social interaction.
Christian Hoedl on instagram | @c_contemporary_artist
Gallery C AND THE ARTIST | @c_and_the_artist
Music: Mine Pleasure Bouvar Wenzel @mine_pleasure_bouvar
Cathleen Kämpfe: Hello back again at Glanz&Kante, our Munich Special. Today we are talking with Christian Hoedl. He is a curator, a gallerist, working in the fashion industry, but is as well a jewellery lover, maker and artist. Once studied at the Akademie der Bildenden Künste in the jewellery class of Otto Künzli after studying grafic in Austria. So, you found your way to jewellery, especially contemporary jewellery and are into it since years. You work not just with galleries, but also for galleries and now you are building up your own in Munich.In this beautiful room we are sitting in, full of atmosphere and rough walls. For the Munich Jewellery Week you curated and organized a jewellery exhibition in this place with works from … maybe you can help me?
Christian Hoedl: Yes. Gorgeous to hear you, to see you, thanks for inviting me. I have seven positions this year selected: Alexander Blank, Kiko Gianocca, Karin Johansson, Helfried Kodré, Andrew Lamb, Edu Tarin and Manon van Kouswijk.
Cathleen Kämpfe: Thank you! We want to talk with you a little bit about your approach for this exhibition, more about your understanding of being a gallerist and curating contemporary jewellery. Of course we will also talk about the question, what the field needs. So there is one question we want to ask all our interview partners: What is the last thing you bought from the jewellery sector?
Christian Hoedl: You mean on my own, for my own collection?
Cathleen Kämpfe: For your own collection, or it could be a gift or something you work with, materials.
Christian Hoedl: This is eventually a very intimate question, but I will try to answer it. The last thing I bought is to support a young artist, not very well known. And it is a small brooch, which I felt in love. And so far it is not mentioned. It is a theme about reflections and it is about transformation. His name is Marcus Biesecke and I'm a big fan of his work. He is a graduated maker from Halle and so far continuing in his field with a straight attitude. I like his position and sometimes I think in that way we can support each other.
A.S.Ruth Schneider: How did the different positions come together in your exhibition? And is there a connection between the positions or the artists? And does it need a kind of connection or a kind of concept?
Christian Hoedl: Well I think that actually the connections in this presentation, and I think back to the earlier ones, not necessary had to have a theme. It's not about finding a special topic and then building around something. I thought more about the quality in the language of each maker. I think this works quite well. It is for me also surprisingly in fact, if I set it up, something, finally always the confirmation, that it's awesome. It's just awesome in how many different ways makers and artists producetheir language, how they continue, how they develop. And that you feel a kind of a red line through all together. Although they have their strong audience and positions for themselves. I combine it very often with contemporary dance. I am super interested to watch that for many, many years. Since I was a student I was always influenced in that. For example the Studio Wayne McGregor would be a very nice example for that thinking, what I am doing here with the art field and the jewellery field. And I hope I can do it in this way like he does it with dances. So I try to give everyone space and an audience with a very, I hope so, sensitive way to be represented as they would like to do their performance and their art. And finally I think it's super interesting how it all goes well together. Because it is like a team of dancers who create their own choreography while we are dancing in the space and by the way movement is anyway a big topic in wearing jewellery.
A.S.Ruth Schneider: You talked a little bit about the way you are thinking about jewellery. How do you understand your role as a curator and a gallerist and how do you bring your behaviour into your work and into your interaction with jewellers, with costumers and visitors?
Christian Hoedl: Well, it not accidentally happened that I made this choice to try to represent and to communicate about artists in this field. It took me I think approximately seven years to really let this kind of dream come true.To really set something in my own space and to make my own decision very strong with my really also high position in the attitude on myself. I think I watched for many years in the jewellery field and in these systems of different galleries and spaces, what was ongoing and what was by the way particularity making me sad or disturbing and … things which I definitely try to deal in with a completely new or fresh attitude, I hope so, and also with this knowledge and duty that I am responsible as well. Because I think lots of the former, earlier gallerists they do not fulfil always the respect and the kind of behaviour what is in the direction between the artist and the collector. And finally we are very fast coming to the topic to discuss price values and the values in context to fine arts. So it was by the way a lucky shot that I got after my diplomas at the Akademie the situation and the possibility to a very well educated and in-town as a good position known arts gallery a space and the possibility to build up, to raise up something in the jewellery field. And I think this trained me quite well in the beginning into this direction. Although the system, the gallery system was kind of setted for me. So I had my kind of borders to fulfil. And now I'm, many years later, exactly ten years later now, in this wonderful situation that I can stretch the limits, that I try transform things. I think a lot about into the future, what does my position as a gallerist or...also I see it furthermore as communicator: What does that bring(s?) with it? And what elements I can choose and put in that it raises up and brings something successful in both ways? In a gallery it is not all about being successful because you are selling. I think you are most successful if you see bright eyes in front of you and you have a really deep and interesting communication about something new. And in the best way a person falls in love with the piece of art, in this case our jewellery or hollowware and I think this has also a specific value which I want to raise up more. In the direction that means finally for us to come to the point: It can't be and this can't be the future that fine arts has a price value which separates us as jewellery makers with such a big difference. So I definitely fight and work and try to do my best to raise up now the value of all our works. And this means also to be represented in different new ways, to also have connections to really well known art fairs like TEFAF or some others in this field, to bring this kind of high quality which we already have in this field -this is no doubt at all- but also to value and to bring this level into another price area. Since this week I am jet more than ever confirmed that this works. It's not just an idea or a kind of a blobby dream of someone, I often heard that by the way in front from some frightened and other gallerists and people around. They are always doubting and telling you that it won't be successful and you will be also after a few years depressed and down under. I don't believe in that at all.
Cathleen Kämpfe: You already talked about the art fair TEFAF for example. So is there a kind of another network that is needed or how is it possible to build it up besides these art fairs or the galleries itself.Maybe you can give us an example.
Christian Hoedl: Yes. I think that definitely, by the way we all as students and makers need in the very early years and propably also during our starts some side jobs and some money bringing jobs. So I was always connected to high technological interesting new fabrics and also new forcing that into a new direction in my own jewellery field. And that brought me into the field of the really high class fashion brands. And I think now looking back to those years it was a big luck for me to have all these joyful and interesting details. I learned how they work, how they deal with that and how they also have their system, especially with that typically brand stories, retail information and they have all their very specific concepts and goals in which direction it should finally end up. And I am very sure that all these different points in my life until today that these things now bring something together which helps me very much to develop also this in our field. And to bring in all these different new things of possibilities to do that.
Cathleen Kämpfe: So the Munich Jewellery Week is as good as over, today is Sunday and I think you had quite a busy week.
Christian Hoedl: Well, the Schmuck, which by the way is the real name for the jewellery week, is always super exhausting in many ways, in different levels, because we meet each other not that often especially now after this long pause of Corona. I think everyone was super enthusiastic to meet his earlier friends, colleagues, students and gallerists and all the people around who are writing or thinking in this direction, philosophers and whatever. And I had wonderful talks and very inspiring new material which I hopefully can now transform into this space and in the ideas which I already mentioned.
A.S.Ruth Schneider: You talked about this really beautiful space and the room. Maybe it is possible to tell something about it here? To create an image of where we are in? Because it's such a lovely place.
Chrisitian Hoedl: If you are working like I am in this field in the free curation and very spontaneous bring-up-some-presentations or exhibitions.So therefore you need to find a lucky place in the right timing and I had particularly I think, as many people confirmed several times, I had these good chances. And in this way it is the same. I was biking around in the early spring time in this Maxvorstadt area which everyone knows.The museums are around and right now we are really on the next corner behind Lembachhaus Museum, behind Königsplatz which is very nice now, Augustenstraße 35. It's a hotspot for the Maxvorstadt and it's I think approximately 30m². There are 6 meter high space and not propably like you expect it in the fine jewellery field with a lot of mirrors and plain white walls. Right now we are in the process of transformation. Because the former earlier renter is going to move out in the end of September and during that period right now I could take the chance to come in for a week and test the space and have a look how everything is working here. I am more than delighted also by the light because we have here huge windows and we have the situation that the door is sitting in the corner which is always very inviting to come into a space and do have directly an audience. And the situation that...it's right now a very rough and more of a Berlin style presentation, because the walls have bricks looking out and you have old particularly wallpaper and some old colours, a kind of yellowish drawing around. But finally I thought you can always deal with a space in that direction and I found very luckily also a company. They supported me with their furnitures so I could make a break. The furnitures are very strict and very technological, I think very geometric so that brings in a kind of a pureness what is what I personally anyway prefer in many ways. I am a purist. I think if you create a clear and a kind of quite area, then the artist have an audience to fulfil and to talk about their stories.
Cathleen Kämpfe: Thank you so much.
Christian Hoedl: You're welcome. It was my pleasure. Lots of luck with your project and thanks for inviting me!