Token of love or branding? If the work by Itxaso Mezzacasa refers to the feeling of absence, the piece by Curro Claret requires the presence of the body and even more, offers the possibility to leave a mark on the flesh. The gold pendant originates from taking the mould of, ideally, the teeth of one’s partner. By pressing the jewel against the skin it is possible to obtain the mark of a bite, an instant trace of passion, a visceral "forget-me-not" that asks for playful interaction. Claret has in mind the traditional categories of sentimental and engagement jewellery, but the romanticism is subverted by the provocative ugliness of the roughly finished shape of the teeth. Wearing parts of the body transformed into jewellery recalls the onlooker the world of ex votos and relics, which possess similar disturbing qualities. Claret decides to take away the attention from the aesthetic qualities of the object and concentrates on the psychological effects of its use.
The teeth pendant belongs to a series of objects that reflects on personal relationships and wants to stimulate, alter or create new patterns of behaviour. A project entitled “cab-sharing”, it is about saving money and being more sociable, and a walking stick for old couples that would allow them to pull the shopping trolley together, belonged to this bizarre collection of emotional extensions. They have in common the importance of engaging the user, on a functional as well as on an emotional level. Their narrative character has the ability to accommodate a place for personal experience.
Claret’s collection of objects was presented in the group exhibition “Salt in the Soup” (Barcelona, La Capella, 2004). There it was, the shiny teeth pendant portrayed on a hairy male breast, flirting with the worst taste. The exhibition hosted the most heterogeneous urban productions, from visual arts to theatre, design and gastronomy that were challenging the distinction between high and low culture, the sophisticated and the rough, the extra-ordinary and the infra-ordinary. The artefacts on display set up a lively debate: the “here and now” of the encounter between people and objects reached crucial significance. In these kind of practices art seems to tend to functionality, while design becomes every time more conceptualised. Do they all aspire to become “applied”?
Curro Claret (b. 1968 Spain) is a product designer and lives in Barcelona.
Curro Claret, Pendant, 2004, goldplated resin. 5 x 4 cm (length of the chain 40 cm).
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