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NUDA VITA The practice of collective and political body II and III chapters

On the occasion of Munich Jewellery Week 2021, Adornment is pleased to present the second and third chapters of Nuda Vita, which will take place virtually on the main channels of both Adornment and Nuda Vita platforms from March 8 to 14 2021.

The works of the artists will be presented on a video animation made by the talented Asia Flamini.

On Friday March 12that 6.30 pm (CET) a public conference will be held on ZOOM to present the project and the artists included. Special guests will be Lieta Marziali and Toktam Nourkeyhani aka T Like Twinkle, who will join the artists in an exciting conversation.

The initiative explores the value and role of the public, collective and political body, taking as its starting point the expression Nuda Vita, coined by Benjamin and then developed by the philosopher Giorgio Agamben, reworked as an impossible condition, an indescribable concept, and an artistic action.

As an artistic movement and an open platform, this year the exhibition presents the work of 16 artists who have both continued and made further contributions to artistic research around the public body and social and political identity: Vivien Bedwell, Daria Borovkova, Ana Escobar, Satomi Kawai, Monique Lecouna, Anna Lewis, Nina Lima, Peter Machata, Jana Machatova, Nanna Obel, Margherita Potenza, Lavinia Rossetti, Eva van Kempen, Tanel Veenre, Maria Walker, Snem Yildirim.

The artists were invited to explore different aspects of 'nudity', as an ideological and existential condition that humanity experiences when free from constraints, rules, obligations and norms, in order to develop a personal artistic resistance action.

The goal is to compare the most varied experiences and to broaden social and political awareness. The great wealth of perspectives and themes, already set out in the first edition, presents jewellery as a means of raising questions relating to major issues such as the role of women in society, the issue of gender, the freedom to have control of one's own body, sexual orientation, slavery, the idea of beauty, regimes and dictatorships, mysticism and eroticism, disability and public spaces.

With a view to accompanying the creations with an in-depth critical discourse, in this edition the relationship between ethics and aestheticswill be considered in greater depth, in an attempt to position the artistic practice in a progressive stance and give it true weight.

We can identify four different approaches which characterize the incredible variety of researches: the first one is narrative – both historical and political,the second one owns a phenomelogical and performative approach to the body, the third one turns around themes such as ethnicity and racism, while the last one is socially engaged on civil and customs issues.

Belonging to the first group of researchers Daria Borovkova continues her investigation on the role of Russian woman in the early twentieth century: in this new body of work, relatives,she has focused on a very intimate level, by mixing her personal experience together withhistorical references; Peter Machata and Jana Machatova use the same type of language with religious and political references: the Stigma series by Peter Machata represents a set of palms, with a round cut and pure white color, metaphysical and perfect, which contains symbols and icons of our time; the Frauen-Fleiss series by Jana Machatova is inspired by old postcards and newspapers, focusing on, but not exclusively, portraying women's life and crafts, developing a sentimental work on memory, on the value of small gestures and on the poetry of everyday life. Nanna Obel also focuses her personal artistic research on the role of women in contemporary society and on the public and private perception of their bodies, especially in relation to intimate and delicate experiences such as female hygiene, intelligence, dependency on marriage, promiscuity, assault and aging.

The second group sees the inclusion of different artists who possess a transversal and intimate sensitivity, which could be defined phenomenological, organic and performative through the use of symbols and body elements.

Margherita Potenza explored the body in its theoretical and metaphysical meaning, while staging a symbolic mapping that has the appearance of a ritual to reunite the disintegration of being; Anna Lewis continues her research around the idea of the corset being a tool of both constriction and manipulation, by bringing the work back to the idea of the naked body in close proximity to the object. She expresses the need to reunite, reverse the rupture of the human and overcome the detachment that is damaging us.

According with his traditional artistic research, which speaks through great archetypes, in his latest work Tanel Veenre creates a series of nipples (papilla in fact from the Latin means nipple).

Ancient symbol of femininity and emblem of fertility, Tanel takes up its simple shapes to create a series of ironic brooches, carved from real gemstones (onyx, rock crystal).

Finally, Maria Ignacia Walker presents a woven mask with human hair, a bodysuit and a self-portrait sketchbook.A body of works that speaks of time and its cyclical nature, organically represented in the act of weaving, as in the most ancient archetypes of the densest mythologies. The richness of the multi-layered languages used by Maria opens up endless discourses about her practice, which fit in between of performance art, wearable art and contemporary ornament.

With the title Emotional Body, Satomi Kawai develops a series of jewels that incorporate tactile qualities and organic elements, to stage the sensuality and delicacy of the female body. She continues to explore the quality of femininity, including physical, mental, emotional and psychological layers.

Ethnicity and racism are hot topics nowadays as we can deduce from the works by Nina Limawho continues her research in the field of racism, forms of oppression and slavery exercised less and less openly by society and man. The aesthetic imagination, connected to the idea of ​​the old cameo, is expressed in a contemporary key through the use of both new and ancient materials. Similarly, Ana Carolina Escobar is interested in the rituals that commemorate life and death and in general, by questioning herself about memory, identity, nomadism and containment. From 2017 she is developing different projects around the subject of migration.

Monique Lecouna, finally, was inspired by the article ‘Racism is a Global Issue’ by Edward Enninful, current chief editor of British Vogue, written in response of George Floyd’s murder by at the hands of Minneapolis police officers. She choses the silhouette of the most iconic Bulgari necklace to question the social values and who defines them today.

Broader issues, social and civil habits and customs, are addressed with different styles and tones by the artist as Eva van Kempen who finds inspiration in medical achievements especially related to the procreation process and analyses the impact of the human intervention on the specie’s control and regulation. She uses expired medication as materials to create elegant yet thought provoking jewels, while honouring medical achievements and life itself.

Snem Yildirim has always been interested in cognitive learning processes and the formation of the identity of the individual as a result of external stimuli and patterns. In Daily Obedience Routines, she was questioning how the education system transforms us into individuals who are obedient to authority. In Tabula Rasa, she goes one step further and explores the concept of nudity through the definition of Tabula Rasa by Locke.

Vivien Bedwell is continuing her investigation of the treatment of people with conditions such as disease, illness or impairment and their functionality in public spaces. The objective of the work is to re-contextualise resources that are vital for people with sensory and cognitive impairments.

Lavinia Rossetti engaged herself in a different exercise, trying to interpret a different culture from hers, the Chinese one. While she was the recipient of a residency hosted at San W Gallery/Studio in Shanghai, she collected the chopsticks that came with every take-away meal. The result is a body of work consisting of 157 pairs of disposable chopsticks and it is her intuitive analysis of China and its flavors, a very fast digestion of all the visual inputs that she got during this stay.

To close the presentation, I believe there are no more appropriate words than those used by Lieta Marziali in the essay she wrote to open the catalogue: ‘In Nuda Vita, the artists highlight the nudity of the human body – at its most physical, spatial and experiential – as a catalyst for a new discourse where life is bare and political, where zoē is not a potential but as yet incomplete and wanting bios, but is bios. Makers and materials, objects and bodies co-hack the sanctioned superficial spectacle function of ornament to be passively worn and viewed, and transform it into a personal and most intimate act of resistance for an inclusive and truly universal polis.‘

Ilaria Ruggiero

For Information:

Ilaria Ruggiero Founder and Curator A/dornment Curating Contemporary Art Jewelry Ph. +39 347 93 96 300 Email:


Curator and Art Director

Ilaria Ruggiero


Vivien Bedwell

Daria Borovkova

Ana Escobar

Satomi Kawai

Monique Lecouna

Anna Lewis

Nina Lima

Peter Machata

Jana Machatova

Nanna Obel

Margherita Potenza

Lavinia Rossetti

Eva van Kempen

Tanel Veenre

Maria Walker

Snem Yildirim

Essay in the catalogue by

Lieta Marziali

Graphic design – catalogue

Barbara Modolo

Video animation

Asia Flamini

Produced By

Adornment – Curating Contemporary Art Jewelry


Arts Council of Wales

Swansea College of Art. University of Wales Trinity St David


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