We Are One

An exhibition design for a jewellery company in Gallery SO in London.

Taneli Mansikkamäki
Dor Schindler
Peter Hudson

AGO collaborated with a jewellery practice Räthel & Wolf who curated the exhibition ‘We Are One’ for the launch of their label. Selected artists working around topics of gender and body were invited to collaborate in the multidisciplinary art event. The gallery SO is one of the very few contemporary art jewellery galleries of its kind and it was endeavoured by Räthel and Wolf to widen the genre by showing the jewellery in relation to contemporary dance, performance, poetry, film and photography. Artists presented in the exhibition are Eva Papamargariti, Mia Dudek, Jaana Kristiina Alakoski and Theodoulos Polyviou, Nora Silva, Whitney Conti and Titilayo.

The displays for the jewellery are extracted from a downloaded digital body. This three-dimensional digital model has been crafted as a generic template, a representation of a human being without qualities or gender. A 30cm x 30cm segment of the body where the jewellery is worn was then extracted and cast in plaster.

The curtains were made of a large tarpaulin sheet which was used to temporarily cover buildings while construction. The sheet originally was 8m x 25m in size but was cut in half and suspended from a temporary timber structure fixed to the existing brick walls. Rest of the offcuts were forming a separate projection space in the back of the gallery providing shade for the video projection.

The gallery space is a narrow but 5 meters high top lit space made out of London yellow stock bricks. We wanted to cover the dark yellow brick walls and make the space even more narrower to enhance the original spatial proportions.

The tarpaulin is a very cheap but long-lasting product which meant that it was important for us to think of the full lifecycle of the product rather than just discard it after the show. After finishing the exhibition, R&W has further cut the curtains into smaller pieces forming bags, folders and envelopes for their products.

The gentle curvature of the human form is present on top of the display while other surfaces are cut to form square plinths. These are connected with a slender structure to form a continuous strand of fragmented body casts. On top of the plinths Räthel and Wolf’s sculptural silver and black rhodium jewellery rests as abstract sculptures.

A high gloss tarpaulin is hung to form an intimate space for the projection of Papamargariti’s installation. It also forms a continuous backdrop in which the objects and the floating multi-coloured artwork have space to stand out. The white glossy colour is suited to the Räthel & Wolf’s domain and the tarpaulin was recycled to form packaging and folders for their jewellery brand.