Welcome to Walking the Gray Area

This is a blog was originally created as a forum for a group of Latin American and European artists and jewellery-makers who, for a period of six months, exchanged thoughts, experiences, ideas, and images on three main topics: jewellery, global mobility and identity. And for viewers from all over the world to witness how an exhibition developed from scratch.

To learn more on this project, read the introductory essay Take a Walk on the Gray Area. To see the interaction between the various couples, click on the couple’s names at the right column of the blog.

The processes and results of the blog were as varied as the artists themselves and the way their own lives have evolved in the past six months. Some of the collaborations were rich and successful. Some others not so much. Some questions that gave birth to this project were answered to a more or lesser degree.  But it has all resulted in an extraordinary collection of ornaments that undoubtedly talks about the will and desire to communicate, to learn from each other and to make of contemporary jewellery a more culturally diverse scenario.

This project has been plagued with all the eventualities of life:  encounters, death, loss, births, communication, miscommunication, new migrations, change of paths, construction, destruction, abandonment and among this, an exceptional exhibition evolved. Walking the Gray Area premiered at Galeria Emilia Cohen in Mexico City in April 2010, featuring over 60 jewellery pieces, produced by 40 artists from an uncertain total number of  involved countries.

The exhibition has come to an end. But not the contact between artists from utterly divergent backgrounds and cultural systems or the growing interest of a recurring audience of over 12 thousand visitors about contemporary jewellery and its great ability to communicate, provoke, critique, record, transmit, and generate meanings, qualities, and ideas.

Walking the Gray Area remains now as a place where artists, designers and an audience interested in learning about this fascinating discipline can meet, discuss and share with others those ideas, images and projects that motivate and inspire them. A place to celebrates jewellery and cultural diversity.

Enjoy this blog and make it grow!

Gemma Small

Everday Matters: Designing from Within / a workshop by Mia Maljojoki in Mexico City

REGISTRATION IS OPEN

 

The Otro Diseño Foundation and Walka Escuela have the pleasure to announce the our next Travelling Workshop to take place in Mexico City.

Everyday Matters: Designing from Within is a five day intensive workshop dictated by renown Finish jewellery artist Mia Maljojoki, that explores how

how individuality, emotion and intuition -all qualities applied in the creation of art works- play a relevant role in a creative process leading to the development of commercial products.

 

The workshop will take place from Saturday 11th to Wednesday 15th October 2014 within the frame of the opening of the exhibition Think Twice, Contemporary Jewellery from Latin America at the Franz Mayer Museum of Fine Arts and Design.

 

For more information and registration, please visit:

 

http://www.eventbrite.com/e/everyday-matters-designing-from-within-tickets-11987098735

Presenting the manual ‘The Core & The Shell’ by Estela Saez Villanova

 

The Otro Diseño Foundation is proud to present the manual ‘The Core & the Shell: guiding methods for independent jewellery makers’, by Spanish jewellery artist Estela Saez Villanova.

‘The Core & the Shell’ is a guide, written from a very personal perspective, for students with an interest in contemporary jewellery who wish to learn about the steps and decisions a young jeweller can take in order to begin a career in the field.

As expressed by Saez Villanova: ‘Presently the jewellery maker is not just a person who is enclosed in his workshop, concentrating exclusively in the process and production of making jewellery. Today a jeweller needs to develop the necessary skills to promote and manage his work in an international context. Strengthening two core principles of the practice: the making the work within the walls of his own studio and creating a connection with the outside world, will provide those just entering the field with a valuable help to achieve success in a larger arena’.

Besides addressing different topics, the manual contain case studies by renowned jewellery artists such as Robert Smit, Iris Eichenberg, Ruudt Peters, Natalya Pinchuk, Ramón Puig Cuyas, Ted Noten and Sara Borgegard.

The editorial design of ‘The Core & the Shell’ has been executed by Mexican graphic designer and jewellery artist Mariana Acosta.

‘The Core & the Shell’ is also available in a Spanish version.

 

To buy ‘The Core & The Shell’ in English go to:

http://www.blurb.com/b/5162979-the-core-the-shell

 

To buy ‘El Núcleo y La Coraza’ in Spanish go to:

http://www.blurb.com/b/5162931-the-core-the-shell-el-nucleo-y-la-coraza

 

The Core & The Shell

by Estela Saez Villanova

74 pages

15 × 23 cm

Color printing on white uncoated paper

Edited by Otro Diseño Foundation

April 2014

 

The ‘Core & The Shell’ is an official manual for the

Traveling Workshop® program

Amuleto: JoyaViva a través del Pacífico

The  Otro Diseño Foundation is honored to announce the opening of the exhibition ‘Amuleto: Joya Viva a través del Pacífico’, curated and organized by Kevin Murray.

Otro Diseño has worked in collaboration with Museo Nacional de Culturas Populares to present this exhibition in Mexico.

The opening will take place next Wednesday 9th April at 19:30 hrs at Museo Nacional de Culturas Populares in Mexico City.

‘ Joyaviva is an exhibition of ‘live jewellery’. Each of the objects you see on display has its own life as a device for sharing hopes and fears. They have been carefully designed and made by a new wave of jewellers whose focus is the world outside the gallery.

Each object functions as a witness that links people together, transforming private wishes into shared stories. Joyaviva aspires to continue the story of contemporary jewellery.’

Kevin Murray

Lorena Lazard, México

Melissa Cameron & Jill Hermans (Australia)

Valentia Rosenthal, Chile

http://www.joyaviva.net/

Next at HARD TO FIND, Guadalarara: Amulet or Talisman?, Contemporary Rituals in Jewellery and other Objects by Hanna Hedman

 

HARD TO FIND, Guadalajara is pleased to announce  Amulet or Talisman the fourth of the successful Traveling Workshop series. Dictated by Swedish artist Hanna Hedman, Amulet or Talisman is an intensive 4 day open workshop designed for jewellery, fashion or industrial designers, visual artists, photographers and architects who either work professionally or are in the last year of their studies and who desire to work on conceptual assignments using jewellery as a media. The workshop, which has been presented at Walka Studio in Santiago de Chile and Nueve25 Plata Studio in Mexico City, will take place from April 28th to May 1st at HARD TO FIND, Guadalajara City, Mexico.

Fascinated by the intensity of her first contact with Latin America, Hanna Hedman developed a series of necklaces entitled Human Tree, which analyse the religious syncretism that the artist found in Mexico during a visit in 2010. Subjects such as religion, magic and the occult, Hedman recreated in ornaments her own Mexican experience, using the body both as the object and subject of her work. Departing from her personal and artistic experience with these Mexican subjects, Hanna Hedman designed Amulet or Talisman, a workshop that aims to encourage participants to engage with emotions, auto-evaluation and the further development of the conceptual thinking that past Travelling Workshop editions have been exploring. At the end of the workshop the participants will have created two pieces of conceptual jewellery based on the theme Amulets, applying a high degree of artistic ability. This will be achieved through decisions, an intelligent response to intuitive ideas and a playful attitude towards materials.

The participants will learn to create contemporary jewellery pieces through individual and group exercises, interaction with the outside world and the documentation of the whole process. As with the rest of the Traveling Workshop editions, Amulet or Talisman focuses into the development of a strong, unbiased, individual positions towards contemporary jewellery and in providing technically skilled participants with the tools enhance their own creative process. The participants will also learn to verbalize ideas and produce texts regarding their own work.

The program Traveling Workshop, an initiative of Otro Diseño, Walka Stido and Novajoia, which offers jewellers, designers and visual artists who live in Latin America the opportunity to address the global notion of contemporary jewellery by the exploration of conceptual and critical thinking and the application of materials, techniques and technology that respond to that line of thought.

For additional information and registration, please contact:

 +52 3312021847
cursos@htf.org.mx
http://www.hannahedman.com/
Photography by: Maj Lindstrom ( http://www.majlindstrom.com/ )

Think Twice opens at Museo Arocena, Torreón, Mexico

Arocena Museum in collaboration with the Otro Diseño Foundation are pleased to announce to the opening of the traveling exhibition Think Twice: Contemporary Latin American Jewellery, at Museo Arocena in Torreón, México.

Think Twice has been seen by over 50 thousand visitors in all its combined venues in New York, Seattle, Tallinn and Monterrey. Few jewellery exhibitions receive such a large audience and it makes Otro Diseño extremely happy to see that is mission being accomplished: promoting the contemporary visual culture of Latin America and bringing the fascinating converging fields of art, craft and design to a growing audience.

The opening will take place to take place next Thursday 6th March at 19:00 at Edificio Anexo Russek at Arocea Museum in Torreón, Mexico. The opening will be preceded by a lecture by Think Twice curator Valeria Vallarta Siemelink.

 

Otro Diseño wishes you a happy winter season and a colorful 2014!

Video of Travelling Workshop: A Piece of Reality: Jewellery as a Memory System by Jiro Kamata at The Workshop Studio

Travelling Workshop: A Piece of Reality: Jewellery as a Memory System by Jiro Kamata at The Workshop Studio

AMULET OR TALISMAN: Contemporary Rituals in Jewellery and other Objects ::: A workshop by Hanna Hedman in Mexico

 

The Otro Diseño Foundation is pleased to announce  Amulet or Talisman the fourth on the successful Travelling Workshop series. Dictated at the Walka Studio School in Santiago de Chile last October by Swedish artist Hanna Hedman, Amulet or Talisman is an intensive 4 day open workshop designed for jewellery, fashion or industrial designers, visual artists, photographers and architects who either work professionally or are in the last year of their studies and who desire to work on conceptual assignments using jewellery as a media. The workshop will take place from February 6th to 9th 2014 in Mexico City.

Fascinated by the intensity of her first contact with Latin America, Hanna Hedman developed a series of necklaces entitled Human Tree, which analyse the religious syncretism that the artist found in Mexico during a visit in 2010. Subjects such as religion, magic and the occult, Hedman recreated in ornaments her own Mexican experience, using the body both as the object and subject of her work. Departing from her personal and artistic experience with these Mexican subjects, Hanna Hedman designed Amulet or Talisman, a workshop that aims to encourage participants to engage with emotions, auto-evaluation and the further development of the conceptual thinking that past Travelling Workshop editions have been exploring. At the end of the workshop the participants will have created two pieces of conceptual jewellery based on the theme Amulets, applying a high degree of artistic ability. This will be achieved through decisions, an intelligent response to intuitive ideas and a playful attitude towards materials.

The participants will learn to create contemporary jewellery pieces through individual and group exercises, interaction with the outside world and the documentation of the whole process. As with the rest of the Traveling Workshop editions, Amulet or Talisman focuses into the development of a strong, unbiased, individual positions towards contemporary jewellery and in providing technically skilled participants with the tools enhance their own creative process. The participants will also learn to verbalize ideas and produce texts regarding their own work.

The program Travelling Workshop, an initiative of Otro Diseño, which offers jewellers, designers and visual artists who live in Latin America the opportunity to address the global notion of contemporary jewellery by the exploration of conceptual and critical thinking and the application of materials, techniques and technology that respond to that line of thought.

Amuleto o Talismán

Nueve25 Plata Studio, Ciudad de México

06.02.2014 to 09.02.2014

For immediate registration go to Eventbrite:  http://www.eventbrite.com/e/amulet-or-talisman-a-travelling-workshop-by-hanna-hedman-tickets-7309578145?utm_campaign=new_eventv2&utm_medium=email&utm_source=eb_email&utm_term=eventurl_text

 

 

 

   


‘Amulet ot Talisman’ a lecture by Hanna Hedman at the University of Chile

Walka Studio, Escuela de Diseno de la Universidad de Chile, the Otro Diseno Foundation and Taller Viajero are pleased to invite you to the lecture ‘Amulet or Talisman’, dictated by the Swedish artist Hanna Hedman.

Next Thursday 10th October at 19:30 hrs at Salon Sergio Larrain, Universidad de Chile, Campus Lo Contador.

Free entrance. Previous reigistration: escueladejoyeriawalkastudio@gmail.com

Lecture ‘The Public and the Private in Contemporary Jewellery’ in Guadalajara

 

El TEC de Monterrey Campus Guadalajara, The Workshop Studio y la Funcadión Otro Diseño invitan a la conferencia Lo Público y lo Privado en la Joyería Contemporánea, con presentaciones de Tanel Veenre, Jorge Manilla y Valeria Vallarta Siemelink.

El próximo Martes 20 de Agosto a las 18:00 hrs en el Aditorio 3 del Centro de Congresos del TEC Campus Guadalajara.

* * * * *

The Instituto Tecnológico y de Estudios Superiores de Monterrey Camous Guadalajara, The Workshop Studio and The Otro Diseño Foundation invite you to the lecture ‘The Private and the Public in Contemporary Jewellery’, dictated by Tanel VeenreJorge Manilla andValeria Siemelink.

Next Tuesday 20th August at 18:00 hrs at the Auditorium 3 of the Congress Center of the TEC Camous Guadalajara.

 

Personal Mythologies an exhibition by Jorge Manilla and Tanel Veenre at Galería Valeria Florescano, Mexico City

Galería Valeria Florescano, the Otro Diseño Foundation and Travelling Workshop are honored to invite you to the opening cocktail of the exhibition ‘Personal Mythologies’, which present the jewellery work of Mexican artist Jorge Manilla and Estonian designer Tanel Veenre.

Thursday 8th Agust
18:00 hrs
Galería Valeria Florescano at Downtown Mexico Hotel
Isabela Católica No 30, Centro Histórico, Mexico City

A series of activities will surround this exhibition, such as the FaceBack workshop, dictated by Manilla and Veenre in Mexico City, Guadalajara and San Luis Potosí, as well as a lecture by Jorge Manilla at the Franz Mayer Museum on Saturday 27th August at 12:00.

MEET ME THERE : The new work of Estela Saez Vilanova

Footnotes of a Stead

Valeria Vallarta Siemelink

So what we are really doing when we walk through the city is thinking, and thinking in such a way that our thoughts compose a journey, and this journey is no more or less than the steps we have taken, so that, in the end, we might safely say that we have been in a journey, and even if we do not leave our room, it has been  journey, and we might safely say that we have been somewhere, even if we don’t know where it is.

Paul Auster

 

The work of Estela Saez has repeatedly turned to the intermingling, even reciprocity, between identity-construction and physical space (land-home-shelter) and its contingent shaping of memory and time. She focuses in her own migratory process -the departure of her Catalonian town, the making of a new home in Amsterdam, the endless commuting from country to country, the separations and re-encounters that the movement entails- to explore issues related to migration, mobility, roots, multitude and solitude and the emotional extremes that accompany such a nomadic existence.

Former collections of the Spanish jewellery artist bearing titles such as Terra, Goodbye Nest and Recovered Connections, document her preoccupation with reconciling mobility and belonging and alternate conceptual and material references to earth and sky, tradition and modernity, permanence and ephemerality.

The emphasis placed on the creative and emotional process and the discovery made as a result in Saezs’ practice becomes more evident in the Meet me There series; a collection of objects and jewells that mark the artist’s first encounter with semi-precious stones and that narrate an oscillating journey between the sculptural and the wearable.

Exhausted after years of continuous motion, the artist makes a stop to submerge in memories, awake the senses and re-think her own artistic search. Stationed in a new environment, she considers working with semi-precious stones by the first time. This is regarded by Saez as a new journey which takes place between the walls of her own studio. Her mind works at the same pace than her hands, which have got a hold on a fragment of a fleshy Australian jasper. She spends weeks slicing the hard stone intuitively, laboriously until it emerges as a thin as a sheet of paper.

Saez has been enchanted by the possibilities of the stone, but needs a change that allows her to move more liberally. Large sheets of cardboard replace the tiny slates of stone and the artist takes the role of a construction worker. Miraculous scaffoldings, transitional refuges, invisible cities are the result of her building exercises, which become a metaphor for past times, the fleeting nature of life and the complexity of the artist’s state of mind at that time.

But, faithful to her hand-bound scale and eager to continue working with stones, Saez envisions the final destination of this particular journey and asks the viewer to meet her there. Deviating from all conventional methods to fabricate jewellery, she cuts, files, binds both stone and metal and then constructs minute examples of impossible architecture.

The result is a series of apparently antipodal objects that conjure images of makeshift shelters and glacial, deserted cities. Some are made of very thin segments of translucent rock crystal; fragile, frozen membranes that attempt to retain the memory of a familiar colour -the blue of the Mexican sky, the sand of the Catalonian coast, the pink of the skin and the milky gray of the smoke- and that gain volume through skillfully concealed junctures.  In these pieces one can find ghosts and traces of processes, of the interaction between presence and gesture.

Others objects have been constructed by overlapping dozens of silver patches to form a chaotically organized chiaroscuro; like the skeletons of an industrial disaster or a forgotten mechanical monster whose strength is now only a far memory.

In a few pieces both materials reunite in a distanced interaction; as radically different species that have successfully negotiated an unlikely symbiosis. While the coarse silver structures appear as a resistant shell, the more vulnerable, almost ethereal stone formations suggest a vital core.

By transforming and reaccommodating the material into metaphoric constructions of the process of contemporary mobility, Saez creates jewellery that go beyond their objecthood into a new aesthetical terrain. Trough quiet, elegant gestures, the artist knows the value of a perfectly calibrated decision, an intuitive constructivist impulse, softened by the small imperfections of the handmade, that foregrounds an ambivalent sense of strength and fragility.

While Saez is not interested in drafting a specific narrative out of her accumulation of forms, she does think of the individual works as modular elements of a larger story-language, which reference a more universal sense of time, place and desire – ideas of home, roots, and security. She has referred to her work as ‘footnotes to a larger story’, allowing the central narrative to remain fluid, reshaped and configured by the viewer’s interaction with it.

Holding one of Estela Saez translucent, sugar like, objects, causes to hold one’s breath – a perfect pause to wonder how these pieces will age.

 

On show at Gallery Rob Koudijs, Amsterdam until June 22nd

Catalogue with texts by Antonia Aampi, Jordi Mitja and Valeria Siemelink

 

 

Travelling Workshop No 3: FaceBack by Jorge Manilla and Tanel Veenre

FaceBack consists of an intensive three-day workshop dictated by two teachers, Mexican visual and jewellery artist Jorge Manilla and Estonian fashion and jewellery designer Tanel Veenre and is aimed at jewellery, fashion or industrial designers, visual artists, photographers and architects who either work professionally or are in the last year of their studies and who desire to work on conceptual assignments using jewellery as a media.

The workshop will be based on the study, conceptualization and execution of a jewel which considers the facade and backside as equally relevant players on the narrative of the piece. The object will be the result of careful analysis and discussion on topics such as Public and Private, Show-off and Hide, Tradition and Invention. FaceBack seeks to provide the participants with a more liberal approach to jewellery making and with an understanding of its relation with other creative disciplines. The workshop focuses strongly on the development of conceptual thinking and the encouragement of experimentation, combining this with the techinical abilities of the participants.

At the end of the workshop the participants will have created a piece of conceptual jewellery. They will have gained a wider understanding of conceptual contemporary jewellery and sharpened their ability  to evaluate and critique their own work.

FaceBack is the third workshop in the first series of nine of the program Travelling Workshop, an initiative of Otro Diseño, which offers jewelers, designers and visual artists who live in Latin America the opportunity to address the global notion of contemporary jewellery by the exploration of conceptual and critical thinking and the application of materials, techniques and technology that respond to that line of thought.

Travelling Workshop acts as an open workshop made accessible to comers from various disciplines, where contemporary jewellery is studied and created collaboratively. The program aims to provide jewelers, artists and designers in this cultural region with the tools to nurture their own creative process, define their individual position as an artist and further develop the quality of their work. At the same time, the program looks to to strengthen the respective national scenes of the participants and to encourage them to become active participants in the international arena of contemporary jewellery. Travelling Workshop is intended to foster creativity and encourage experimentation in an atmosphere of cultural exchange, conversation, engagement, and freedom of expression.

 

When: from Friday 9th to Sunday 11th August, 2013

Where: Nueve25 Plata Studio, Querétaro No 97, Col. Roma, Mexico City

Registration:  http://facebackworkshop.eventbrite.com/

 

Hijo Pródigo by Carlos Martiel at Galería Teatro LUX, Guatemala City

 

The Cuban artist Carlos Martiel will present Hijo Pródigo (Prodigal Son) at the Gallery Teatro Luz in Guatemala City, from February 28th to March 12th.

Hijo Pródigo is a retrospective of the artists, which explores the codes of language through the body. Carlos Martiel’s work uses his body as a point of departure and end to his art. He often works with jewellery and  body ornaments, taking their relation with his own body to physical and psychological extremes. In this way, the artist reflects on the complex social, cultural and political matters of contemporary Latin America. His work is always registered; Hijo Pródigo includes photographs and videos of Martiel’s work between 2010 and 1012.

Hijo Pródigo will be on show until March 28th 2013

at Galería Teatro LUX

Sexta Avenida y 11 Calle Zona 1

Guatemala City

 

Te Mato por que te Amo ::: Jorge Manilla & Shari Pierce in Schmuck 2013

TE MATO POR QUE TE AMO

As many of the satellite events that surround Schmuck, Te Mato por que Te Amo (I Kill you Because I Love you) promises to be an interesting one.

Two separate rooms in a private home will host two diametrically different exhibitions. Two different artists, two different practices, and two different themes. Themes which, in life occasionally intertwine; often between the walls of private homes.

In one room, Mexican artist Jorge Manilla explores Contemporary Savagery: raw emotions such as fear, jealousy, cowardice, pain, rancor and bad blood, all concepts buried within the motives for violence and the ways these manifest in our contemporary world. He aims to find the exact point in which a person becomes the victim and another one the victimizer. His research ends in the body; in unappealing ornaments, troubled, melted objects that create frightening and confusing images that create an inner cataclysmic reaction in the viewer and the wearer. At the end, those objects transcend their materiality to become dissected feelings, broken memories and empty vessels that reveal the fragility of our situation as human beings in a hostile environment.

In an opposite room -a bedroom- and spectrum, American artist Shari Pierce deals secretly, delicately, with the game Effeuiller la Marguerite or “He loves me, he loves me not”,  in which one person seeks to determine whether the object of their affection returns that affection or not by plucking one petal off a flower (usually a daisy) for each phrase. The phrase this person tells aloud on picking off the last petal supposedly represents the truth between the object of their affection loving them or not. Pierce allegorically recreates the phrase and its meaning, over and over, using several languages, summery colors and perishable materials that speak about love, hope and loss, in the way these feelings often and inevitably collide.

Together but separate, these two artists share a continent, a passion for tackling complex matters and for a few days, a home. A coexistence that brave Schmuck visitors will certainly enjoy to witness.

Valeria Vallarta Siemelink

 

Te Mato por que te Amo will be on show from 06.03 to 09.03

at Atelier Shari Pierce

Morawitzkystraße 1

80803 München

 

 

 

MATADERO ::: An exhibition by Walka Studio at Schmuck 2013

 

MATADERO

Walka Studio represents duality in all the sense of the word. Claudia Betancourt, intuitive, emotional and profoundly interested in local crafting traditions, and Nano Pulgar, shrewd, rational and highly experimental stand at opposite ends of the spectrum of the creative process. Together they execute a fluid dance which teases the boundaries between art and design. They have a clear notion of the local and a wide, but critical, view of the foreign. And they often engage in clever actions to create a larger and more inclusive audience, intervening public realm and partnering with amicable spaces not traditionally associated to the exhibition of artistic jewellery.

On this occasion, Walka Studio, Cafe Clara and Otro Diseño, bring a Chilean exhibition to Munich, to be one of the many relevant satellite events that surround Schmuck adding true cultural diversity to this international event.

Matadero is the latest collection of the Walka duo. It contains a very specific narrative about Chilean traditional crafting materials, the historical and cultural nexus of the southern cultures of the Pacific Basin and the evolving influence of the conquest of Chile, initiated by the Spaniards in 1541. This narrative, however, is represented in an international language, allowing jewellers and jewellery enthusiasts of all nationalities to understand how this jewellery from across the ocean functions within a mostly western context.

Matadero is a series of necklaces and pendants, jewel categories that step away from the often resorted to European brooch and allude to the prevailing ornament of the Pacific cultures. The series is the product of a long investigation about the symbolical and aesthetic characteristics of body ornamentation in the Pacific Basin until its evolution into contemporary jewellery; as well as the experimentation with new methods to work the cacho de buey or bull’s horn, a traditional material in Chilean craft that has been worked by Betancourt’s family for generations.

The relationship established between body and ornament in Matadero reveals how social custom and stigmas around the subject of death or murder of animals, affect our capacity to deem animal remains as acceptable materials, thus disregarding the origin of bodyornamentation and the sacred connotations associated with it in the cultures of the Pacific Islands (Polynesia) and Latin America.

Matadero uses both bull´s horns and hooves which had been part of a previous collection dedicated to the fashion industry, delicately tinted in a faint pink colour for that occasion. The fashionable neckpieces have been deconstructed, burnt and rebuilt as entirely new pieces that fascinate and repulse. The newly transformed pieces allude to one of the darkest periods in Chilean history: the 17 year long dictatorship that was common to many other Latin American countries and which is still a source of preoccupation and reflection for many artists from the continent.

The necklaces and pendants in this exhibition also allude to the particular geographical situation of Chile, a long, thin strip in Latin America which is wedged between the Pacific Ocean and the Andes mountain range. Every piece in the series uses soft, comforting supports and laces made of Andean Alpacas. Surprisingly, the pieces are extremely easy and comfortable to wear, once the repulsion produced by the idea of wearing burnt bones has passed. They are soft, light and smoothing. They are made to be used, as that is how they complete their cycle. And they show Walka’s regal acquaintance with fashion and wearability.

Matadero becomes now a synonym for duality: the series blends cultures, materials, processes, meanings and historical periods in an unusual but profoundly skilful way. I am certain that this exhibition will promote an interesting dialogue and exchange among the participants of Schmuck.

Valeria Vallarta Siemelink

 

MATADERO will be on show from 06.03 to 12.03 2013

at Cafe Clara

Isabellastrasse 8 (just across the street of the Pinakothek der Moderne), Munchen

 

 Fractura, 2013

Burnt bullhorn and alpaca wool

Entierro, 2013

Burnt bull hooves and alpaca wool

Cuerpo Quemado, 2013

Burnt bullhorn and alpaca wool

Fosa Común 8, 2013

Burnt bull hooves and alpaca wool

Meu Corpo, Teu Corpo / Minu Keha, Teie Keka: Brazilian artist Mirla Fernandes at Hop Gallery in Tallinn

 

Last Thursday 21st of February, Brazilian artists Mirla Fernandes opened the exhibition Meu Corpo, Teu Corpo (My Body, Your Body) at the Hop Gallery in Tallinn and managed by María Valdma. The show was presented within the frame of the opening of the exhibition Think Twice: New Latin American Jewellery.

The exhibition, curated by Dr. Ana Paula de Campo  is a retrospective of twelve years on Fernandes’ research on jewellery and its relation with the body.

Taking her own body as a mould and measure –instead of using the traditional tools of the jeweler- the biochemist and artist highlights the body of the other’s singularity through the retention of her presence in the works.  This strategy makes explicit the unique character of the encounter, mediated by the jewel, between the artist and the wearer. Fernandes disrupts the traditional structures of occupation in the body and the use of jewellery through pieces that turn both viewer and wearer into active and interactive subjects, so becoming evident the collective essence of jewellery, and specially, its power to articulate new relations, new constructions and communications abilities.

The show was composed mainly by Fernandes’ production in latex, a Brazilian native material that was once considered more valuable than gold.  The paint-like qualities of latex allows the artist a much more gestural approach, convening a subtly fierce expression and intimate qualities to the pieces.  A video projected in the gallery’s main wall shows the radical and infinite possibilities in which the pieces can be worn by one or more persons at the same time.

At the center of the square gallery, there was a pile of dark clay cartouches that clearly retained the shape and digital prints of the artist’s hands and fingers. Visitors were allowed to take and keep one of these pieces. In exchange, the wearer offered the artist a photograph of her interaction with the piece.

This exhibition shows how the artist starts and finishes her pieces but that doesn’t end their possibilities. The Tallinn audience has now a chance to prolong the boundaries of Fernandes’ work.

 

 

Think Twice Lecture Program at the Estonian Academy of Arts

The Estonian Academy of Arts, the Estonian Museum of Art and Design and Otro Diseño organize a lecture program within the frame of the exhibition Think Twice: New Latin American Jewellery, to take place on 22.02.2013 at 10:00 at the Estonian Academy of Art.

Program:

10:00 Welcoming words by Ketli Tiitsar

10:10 Introduction by Think Twice curator Valeria Vallarta Siemelink

10:20 Artistic Migration: Aesthetics of Lack of Authenticity Martha Hryc (Poland / Mexico)
10:45 A Never Ending Journey by Carolina Gimeno (Chile)
11:10 Latent Visions by Giselle Morales (Dominican Republic)

11:35 Coffee break

11:55 Ornata: jewellery research in Brazil by Mirla Fernandes (Brazil)
12:20 How About Mexico by Beate Eismann (Germany / Mexico)
12:45 A Side – B Side by Laura Alvarado (Colombia)

13:10 Panel discussion, moderated by Ketli Tiitsar cuartor at the Estonian Museum of Applied Art and Design

13:40 Finishing words

 
Estonian Academy of Art
Estonia pst 7 / Teatri Väljak 1
Room 245, (II floor)

Arboresque by Jiro Kamata at Galería Nudo México

Galería NUDO Arte Contempráneo in collaboration with Otro Diseño present the exhibition Arboresque by Jiro Kamata

from 22.02 to 08.03

at NUDO Arte Contemporáneo at Hotel Posada Carmina

Cuna de Allende No 7, Centro, San Miguel de Allende

Opening 22.02.2013 at 19:00 hrs

www.galerianudo.com

The Arboresque Series

In 2010 Jiro Kamata visited Mexico for the first time to exhibit Momentopia, a series he had been working in since 2007. The open, blue sky of Mexico captivated the visiting artist and introduced him to a sensorial experience that led him to explore Mexican color and to develop a profound visual relation with the country. This proved to be a great source of inspiration for Kamata, who understood local colour beyond the abstract theory. His gaze was particularly incisive on the street, where he took time to study both grandiose and vernacular architecture and connect it in a remarkable way why the people who produce and experience it. The hand-forged wrought iron detailing, so abundant in colonial towns, attracted Kamata’s attention. Arabesque, a form of decoration based on rhythmic linear patterns of scrolling and interlacing foliage and tendrils, originated within the Islamic art and became an important part of Spanish architecture which was later exported to Mexico. The irresistible combination of unexpected colour palettes and the capricious shapes of the iron arabesques led the Momentopia series to a surprisingly fresh and colorful path.

 

Momentopia represent moments captured by photographic cameras, using old camera lenses, minimal compositions and a rather monochromatic palette where faint and fleeting color is occasionally provided by the different coatings of each lens. The trip to Mexico led Kamata to an inexorable and organic development of Momentopia. Camera lenses are again the starting point of Arboresque. But, impeccably encased in oxidized silver profiles, the precise and constricted shapes of Momentopia, branch out in Arboresque, creating sinuous and mysterious patterns that remind of unfinished calligraphic strokes of a language we do not fully recognize.

 

An unusual, bolder use of color is immediately noticed in Arboresque, where most of them display bi-color combinations: an eroding green wall, revealing layers of deep purple beneath; a blue pickup truck, brimming with yellow marigold blossoms; a woman in a white dress, pink flowers in her hair, spinning to the rhythm of a festive orchestra; the deep blue sky of a Mexican evening, stained with the darkest rain clouds. By applying acrylic and acetone and using the Japanese ancient suminagashi technique to decorate paper, Kamata masterfully re-interprets Mexico’s coulorful palette.

 

Kamata has experienced Mexico in a profound, reflective and sensuous way. He faced an ancient, complex and fascinating country in the most visual and aesthetic way, unafraid of playing and experimenting with images, emotions and memories. While eating tacos, dinking tequila and dancing danzon, he analyzed the Mexican life and landscape with curious and humorous eyes. His findings, embodied in the new jewellery series, seem to say: ‘look, here is another way of portraying Mexican colour’. As a Mexican architect well acquainted with the colours of my country, I can only agree.

  Valeria Siemelink

Think Twice: New Latin American Jewellery at the Estonian Museum of Applied Art and Design

 

Travelling Workshop: A Piece of Reality, Contemporary Jewellery as a Memory by Jiro Kamata ::: Mexico City 16.02 – 20.02.2013

Travelling Workshop No 2:  A Piece of Reality, Contemporary Jewellery as a Memory
16.02 – 20.02.2013Taller Tierra y Plata, Mexico City

The Otro Diseño Foundation (y la sede local) invite(s) to the workshop ‘A Piece of Reality: Contemporary Jewellery as a Memory System’, dictated by the Japanese artist Jiro Kamata.

‘A Piece of Reality’ is the second workshop in the series ‘Travelling Workshop’, an initiative of Otro Diseño Mexico, Walka Studio Chile and NovaJoia Brazil, which aims to offer jewelers, designers and visual artists who live in Latin America the opportunity to address the global notion of contemporary jewellery by the exploration of conceptual and critical thinking and the application of materials, techniques and technology according as a response to that line of thought. The program seeks to offer jewelers of this cultural region the tools to define their individual position as an artist, strengthen their respective national scenes and participate actively in the international arena of contemporary jewellery.

Jewelry, through history, has functioned as a memento, capable of safeguarding through time events relevant to an individual or community. ‘A Piece or Reality’ addresses the role of contemporary jewellery as a memorial object and its appropriation of portable recording technology. During the workshop Jiro Kamata will use his iconic ‘Tesa Ring’ as a starting point to analyze the relationship between concepts, materials and techniques and encourage participants to explore the creative potential of jewelry as a powerful tool of social communication.

For more information visit: www.otro-diseno.com/tallerviajero/apieceofreality

Registration at: http://www.eventbrite.com/event/5009236762?utm_source=eb_email&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=new_eventv2&utm_term=eventname_text

Other venues and dates in Latin America:

Guadalajara, México
25.02.2013 – 01.03.2013
http://theworkshop-studio.com/2012/12/10/a-piece-of-realitycontemporary-jewellery-as-a-memory-system-by-jiro-kamata/

Santiago de Chile
21.03.2013 – 15.03.2013
http://clasesdejoyeria-vitacura-walka.blogspot.nl/

San José, Costa Rica
26.08.2013 – 30.08.2013
http://www.studiometallo.com/

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About Jiro Kamata

Jiro Kamata was born in Hirosaki, Japan. He studied jewellery at the Yamanashi Institute in Kofu and became later a student of Otto Künzli at the Fine Arts Academy in Munchen, city where he lives and works since 2000.

Jiro Kamata is an assistant professor at the Fine Arts Academy in Munchen. His work is featured in exhibitions around the world and in private and public collections such as the V&A Museum in London, the Stedelijk Museum in Amsterdam or the Hiko Mizuno Collection in Tokyo.

www.jirokamata.com

Martacarmela Sotelo appointed head of Otro Diseño Mexico

 

The Otro Diseño Foundation is pleased to announce the appointment of Martacarmela Sotelo as head of our Mexico chapter, effective September 1st 2012.

Martacarmela Sotelo, born and currently living in Mexico City, holds a degree in architecture by the Iberoamerican University in Mexico and and MAFA by the Central Saint Martins College of Art and Design, UK. An established jewellery maker, her work has been featured at the Museum of Arts and Design NY, the Marion Friedman Gallery in London and the Popular Art Museum of Buenos Aires, among others, and she has been honored with prices such as the Premio Quorum Mexico 2012. Ms. Sotelo is a strong advocate for the development of contemporary jewellery in Mexico and participates in lectures and round tables around the country.

With her new appointment as Head of the Otro Diseño in Mexico, Martacarmela Sotelo seeks to further the Foundation’s mission to foster awareness, understanding and appreciation of contemporary design from Latin America as well as to nurture design excellence through the encouragement of cultural exchange.   Ms. Sotelo brings to the Otro Diseño Foundation a broad understanding of the field of contemporary jewellery, both regionally and internationally, as well as extensive experience in the organization of cultural and educational projects. In the coming years, she will be in charge of developing a training and exhibition’s program that aims to generate opportunities for Mexican jewelers and artists to explore the creative and communicative potential of jewellery and for a broader audience to become acquainted the contemporary jewelry practices of the country. Ms. Sotelo will also act as a link between Mexico and other Latin-American individuals and organizations.

Ms. Sotelo comments: “It is a great honor for me to have been appointed as head of Otro Diseño Mexico; ours is a country with a tremendous creative potential. A continuous and sustained exchange of knowledge and ideas is vital among jewellery makers from Mexico, Latin America and the rest of the world. I am proud to be in the midst of this important project and I am looking forward to strengthen the existing links in the field and to forge new ones”.

 

Made in Latinamerica: a joint project by Otro Diseño, Walka Studio and Novajoia

 

The Otro Diseño Foundation is pleased to announce its alliance with the organizations NovaJoia, from Brazil and Walka Studio, from Chile. This alliance has specifically been brought together to promote the broadening, development, understanding and appreciation of contemporary jewellery as a medium of cultural expression from and within Latin American and the Caribbean and to stimulate its engagement into international dialogue.

Our goal is to generate opportunities for jewelers and artists from Latin America to explore the creative and communicative potential of jewellery and for a broader audience to become acquainted with the contemporary jewelry practices of the continent.

This will be achieved through Made In Latinamerica, a three year pilot project that will focus in three areas:

THINK. The creation of Laboratorio de Ideas, a PanAmerican, multidisciplinary think thank which stimulates the vigorous and creative analysis and theorizing of contemporary jewellery. Through Laboratorio de Ideas we aim to assert the character of Latin American jewellery by seeking out ways to transform and alter existing notions about the region, while presenting competing ideas about what constitutes its particular sensibility and, at the same time, further develop its ability to communicate globally.

LEARN. The implementation of Taller Viajero, a comprehensive educational program based in a more liberal understanding of jewellery and consisting of a series of nine different workshops, each of which will travel to the different regions of Latin America. Taller Viajero aims will provide jewellery makers from Latin America a challenging environment that encourages unorthodox thinking and experimentation and enables them to assert a powerful personal language while developing a consistent and professionally executed body of work. The program is open to jewellery artists residing in Latin America interested in developing the concept of jewellery as a form of artistic expression and wishing to perform in a global environment.

DISSEMINATE. The development of an exhibition program which will produce at least three exhibitions, conceived with the highest standards of scholarship, display, and interaction with the public and which show the work of professional and emergent contemporary jewellery makers from Latin America. These exhibitions aim to create provide the regional audience the opportunity to become familiar with the concept of contemporary jewellery and to an international audience with the cultural framework to understand the jewellery practices from the continent.

Made in Latin America will be launched in September 2012 within the frame of the first workshop of the series: The Political Body, by American jewellery artist Shari Pierce.

Endless holes and hidden places: Jorge Castañon at Velvet Da Vinci

 

 

From September 5th to October 7th, the work of Buenos Aires based jeweller Jorge Castañón will be on display at the Gallery Velvet da Vinci in San Francisco, California.

Castañón is a former marine biologist who studied sculpture and carpentry and trained for almost 10 years in various traditional silver and goldsmithing workshops. By developing impressive technical skills and combining them with a profound understanding of local materials and autochthonous crafting techniques, as well as a powerful and sophisticated aesthetic sensibility, Castañón produces highly expressive pieces that breake the boundaries of jewelry to take on sculptural characteristics.  Inspired mostly by natural materials and shapes and concerned with environmental matters, Castañón searched for rare types of wood, preferably discarded or abandoned, weathered by use or nature. Often preserving vestiges of its past life—paint flecks, a rusty nail, or discoloration caused by fungi—the wood becomes a protagonist in Castañon’s pieces, while rich metals are humbled and used in service to the wood to provide structural support or add color. The work express a marked Argentinean identity through a universal language.

While working on pieces inspired by “Alice in Wonderland,” Castañón explored the emotional impact of endless holes, and hidden places away from the light. He discuses this experience in the ‘realm of doubt’ as the impetuous for his first wood pieces:

“I wanted to talk about abundance, but suddenly knew that I was actually talking about what is not there, the void, and I found myself again making bowls, hollows filled with nothing or almost nothing. Since then, I kept on looking for hidden places, old hiding places, crevices, containers of many things and of nothing at the same time, inhabited by silent presences. Now I invent them, construct them, give them voice. I rescue objects and materials that were on the way to oblivion and return to communicate a minimal story.

Jorge Castañón founded his well-known school “La Nave,” 20 years ago and was featured in the Munich Schmuck 2011 Exhibition.

http://www.velvetdavinci.com/show.php?sid=152

Travelling Workshop: The Political Body ::: Mexico City 09.2012


Workshop The Political Body
Critical Thinking in Contemporary JewelleryA workshop by Shari Pierce

01. 09. 2012 – 05.09.2011

Mexico City

The Otro Diseño Foundation and Taller Serra invite to the workshop The Political Body, by visual and jewelley artist Shari Pierce. This workshop is the first of a series that Otro Diseño will carry out in Mexico in a two year period. The program, which will include periodical lectures and discussion panels, aims to offer Mexican jewellery makers, designers and visual artists the opportunity to explore a global notion of contemporary jewellery by addressing complex conceptual matters as well as technical and material innovation within the context of their own cultural background. The program seeks to offer Mexican jewellery artists the tools to strengthen scene of contemporary jewellery in their own country as well as to actively engage with the international arena.The Political Body workshop seeks to promote political, social and emotionally engaged creative expression within the art form of contemporary jewelry. This creative expression empowers the individual and the group, by creating a space in which you can engage in a dialogue with one another about the issues in which you have a personal stake in your society.

By exploring the possibility of communicating a message through the political body, students will gain a better understanding of contemporary jewelry and its potential for social, political and emotional artistic expression.

 

For additional information, please go to:

http://www.eventbrite.com/event/3846669492

—–

Shari Pierce was born in New Your and currently lives in Munich, Germany. She holds a degree in Fine Arts by the East Carolina University and earned a MFA at the Academy of Fine Arts in Munich.

She has been a guest professor at the Konstfack University College of Art, Crafts and Design in Stockholm, the Geneva University of Art and Design in Switzerland and the Rhode Island School of Art and Design, in the USA.

http://www.sharipierce.com/

Broches para las Chicas: an exhibition by the Royal Academy of Fine Arts Antwerp

 

 

Sieraad Art Fair, Booth 65

Westergasfabriek Amsterdam

November 3rd to 6th 2011

 

Broches para las Chicas is the third edition of an academic project by the Royal Academy of Fine Arts in Antwerp. Students of the 2nd and 3rd bachelor courses at the jewellery department were asked to design and produce ornaments for a specific person. Past editions of the project have seen Walter Van Beirendock, Marnic Smessaert, Anita Evenepoel and Marjan Unger portraying rings and necklaces produced by the Academy’s students.

This year the academy invited Surinam-born designer and jewellery artist Chequita Nahar and myself to commission the students to create a type of ornament that we both have found alluring and, at the same time, foreign to our habitual choice of jewellery: brooches.  Brooches are one the oldest type of jewellery and they are among the most frequently produced ornaments by contemporary jewelers:  their possibilities are almost endless and its prominent area of display makes the brooch a remarkable media for communication.

 

The students were challenged to produce brooches that would help us commissioners to become acquainted with the use of these ornaments and that could establish a relation with the geocultural area we come from, Latin America, and the place where we live now: Europe.

 

Designing for another person starts at the Academy as an exercise that students will have to master through their entire careers as professional jewellery makers. Their ideas, experience and talents are faced with the tastes, dislikes and demands of someone they come to know through a few working sessions. This results in a great opportunity for the students to acquire real-life experience and for the audience to be treated with the promise of surprising young talents.

 

 

Entrevista

Hi!
I want to share this interview.
Thanks to Leda Daverio who held it in Buenos Aires.

El valor de la palabra

En esta entrevista Guigui Kohon habla, entre otras cosas, sobre “100/100 Basura d e Joyería” su nuevo trabajo en relación a la minería a cielo abierto, cuenta su experien cia en la cátedra de accesorios que comparte junto con Francisca Kweitel en la UBA, recuerda su paso por la Escuela de Artes y Oficios de Barcelona y opina sobre la actualidad de la joyería contemporánea argentina.

para seguir leyendo:

http://hilvanadasenzigzag.blogspot.com/2011/09/el-valor-de-la-palabra.html?spref=fb



New book: Gray Area Gris

 

Portada Gray Area Gris

The Gray Area Symposium was an unparalleled
opportunity for the Mexican audience to learn about the
state of contemporary jewellery in the world and, at the
same time, the Symposium served to stimulate cultural
exchange between jewellery artists from Latin America
and Europe.
Organized by the Otro Diseño Foundation for
Cultural Cooperation and Development and supported
by the Prins Claus Fonds, the Mondriaan Foundation
and the Dutch Embassy in Mexico, Gray Area
encouraged a rewarding exchange of ideas from the
perspective of various disciplines, which converged
in an open and much needed debate on the present
and the future of jewellery as a medium for artistic
expression and cultural exchange.
Biblioteca de México “José Vasconcelos”, faithful
to its mission to support and promote national and
international culture, embraced this initiative with great
enthusiasm, offering a space where jewellery artists
from Europe and Latin America were able to exchange
ideas within the frame of the Gray Area International
Symposium.
This proceedings book is a written testimony of the
lectures presented during the encounter as well as a
celebration to initiatives like Gray Area, which help to
enrich and reassert the mission that all the involved
public and private organizations realize

The Gray Area Symposium, which took place in April 2010 at Biblioteca de Mexico José Vasconcelos in Mexico City was an unparalleled opportunity for the Mexican audience to learn about the state of contemporary jewellery in the world and, at the same time, the Symposium served to stimulate cultural exchange between jewellery artists from Latin America, Europe and other corners of the world.

Organized by the Otro Diseño Foundation, Gray Area encouraged a rewarding exchange of ideas from the perspective of various disciplines, which converged in an open and much needed debate on the present and the future of jewellery as a medium for artistic expression and cultural exchange.

This proceedings book is a written testimony of the lectures presented during the encounter as well as a celebration to initiatives like Gray Area, which help to enrich and reassert the mission that all the involved public and private organizations realize realize in favor of cultural cooperation and exchange.

The book include essays by Liesbeth den Besten (NL), Jorge Manilla (Mexico), Cristina Filipe (Portugal), Damian Skinner (NZ), Valeria Siemelink (Mexico),Miguel Luciano (Puerto Rico), Monica Gaspar (Spain) and Mirla Fernandes (Brazil) among many others.

Gray Area Gris: contemporay jewellery and cultural diversity

Consejo Nacional para la Cultura y las Artes

Bilingual edition: English and Spanish

245 pages

Full color, soft cover

Price: 28, 00 Euros

The book is available at museums and galleries in Latin America and Europe or can be ordered here:

https://spreadsheets.google.com/spreadsheet/viewform?formkey=dFBQN09zZWVyOVlDWmdaQmdfVU5qZXc6MQ

For wholesale inquires please contact:  exhibitions@otro-diseno.com

 

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Think Twice at Bellevue Arts Museum, WA

Last Thrsday 26th of May the Belleve Arts Museum in Washington organized a fantastic reception for the opening of the exhibition Think Twice: New Latin American Jewellery. The reception was much fun and I spent a very good time with some of  the exhibition’s artists: Lucia Abdenur, from Brazil; Maca Sotelo, Lorena Lazard and Alcides Fortes from Mexico; and Benjamin Lignel from France. The rest of you were much missed!

The BAM has made an extraordinary effort to present and promote the exhibitions at many levels: a magnificent display, a very interesting education program that includes visits to the exhibition, audio-tours and a touch-screen interactive presentation of the exhibition, as well as a very professional PR program that has granted us a first review in the Seattle times, the most important newspaper in the state. You can view the review here:

http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/html/thearts/2015216964_jewelry03.html

For BAM, the pedagogic scrpit was very important and they made a really good job translating the texts that I was able to write about your work and using the information that you gave me. There were many comments of the audience on how such an interesting and pleasurable the lecture of the exhibition was, which is a combination of contents of the exhibition (your work), the way in which the pieces are displayed and in which the written information is presented. So we feel that we have achieved one of the main goals of the exhibition: to transmit to the audience how do visual artists and jewellery makers from Latin America use nowadays ornaments to talk about the culture they live in.

My deep gratitude to the Bellevue Arts Museum and its staff. Working with them was professional, smooth and really pleasurable. To the audience that has welcomed the exhibition with much interest and warmth. And, of course, to all the Think Artists: they are the hearth of this exhibition.

Valeria Siemelink, Think Twice Curator

BAM ThinkTwice WEB

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Think Twice about Latin American Jewellery

Last Tuesday October 12th (in a very symbolic Dia de la Raza) the exhibition Think Again: New Latin American Jewelry opened at the Museum of Arts and Design in NYC with a record inaugural attendance of 700 guests. 46 of  the 85 artists whose work was presented at the exhibition attended the opening, making it again a cheerful, fun and emotive event.  The response of the audience in NYC demonstrates that the arena of contemporary jewellery is ready to really incorporate  cultural diversity and the work on display shows the talent, originality and intensity that converge in the work of this talented group of artists from Latin America.

The Otro Diseno Foundation is extremely greatful to the Museum of Arts and Design, its director Holly Hotchner and its jewellery curator Ursula Neuman for the enthusiasm and effort to present Think Again by the first time in the USA. But, above all, we wish to thank all the artist for their trust in this project and the amazing talent that, we hope, will reach other latitudes.

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