Cecilia Richard’s Jewelry
by Gabriel Gutnisky*
In our society, the instrumental look aims at recognizing consumer goods in order to avoid deceit and to weigh up the benefits of artefacts and objects of practical use. On the contrary, the creative view of art liberates the look from its continuous functionalism as it is subdued to the commands of desire and rational pleasure.
It is by articulating these two apparently antagonistic situations (function and the lack of it) that Cecilia Richard's works appear as consumer goods (it lies upon an interchange system) but it is redeemed from that situation through sublimation, of something which projects and identifies beyond the practical need.
It is because of these same reason that it is difficult to classify these pieces as mere “jewels”. This term is not enough to define a work where the handmade article, although intended to be consumer goods, is at the same time the object of other type of considerations.
Cecilia Richard's bracelets, necklaces, rings, etc., remind us that human beings have always felt the need of covering and adorning their bodies with a formally differentiated and differentiating seal, in order to being aware of this or not - establish some kind of communication. It is because of this, that the myth of functionality is weakened, and it is acceptable here only partially and despite the economy of craftmanship that originated these pieces, they also show themselves plainly as objects with a certain degree of autonomy and substantive efficiency. This is not only because of the exceptionally operative scheme that materialized them (uniqueness, executive parsimony, thoroughness) but mainly due to their ability to draw our attention and interest to their shape and constitution (reflecting surfaces that multiply images, hypnotic repetition of a definite shape, “smooth” geometry, iridescent glitter that captures neighboring colors, images that refer us to other images etc.)
To all these factors, we have to add up the very movement of the pieces. Only when handled by the user, they are able to establish an action and reaction, anticipation and repetition relationship which strongly affects their temporary perception. Cubes that are articulated as 3D puzzles, spheres that subdivide or bracelets that break down and recompose again show an operatively significant matter because they belong to the wide field of “ludus”, indirectly bringing to mind oriental bead strings (Kombolói) since the mere fact of slipping them through the fingers produces a relaxing seduction.
Not only do these objects promote some sort of event (game), starting from a given structure and from defined and systematized rules provided by the artist, but basically they are able to give us back -without an intimidating aim- the very erotica of the object.-
Text published at 'Cecilia Richard – contemporary jewelry' exhibition catalog, Martorelli Gasser Art Gallery, 2001, Córdoba, Argentina.
*Member of the Argentine and International Association of Art Critics.