GEM Z: Unpacked

October 2023 – January 2024

Initiated and curated by Current Obsession.
Text in collaboration with Irma Földényi

At Nieuwe Instituut, Rotterdam, The Netherlands

'GEMZ: Unpacked' showcases the results of the eponymous talent development program by Current Obsession, a magazine and platform dedicated to contemporary adornment. The presented works fuse design, art and adornment, and were specifically developed for this exhibition.

For this exhibition I developed the curatorial text and texts per participating project. By leading interviews with each participating artist, I edited them into project texts. Through the format of interviews the texts dive into various ways of researching, material sourcing, social and environmental contexts and more.

About the exhibition
Emerging from the far corners of the world, eleven bodies of work arrive at a metaphorical processing facility. Here, the backgrounds, geographies, resources and conditions of the objects at hand are unpacked and inventorized.

The inventory, traditionally associated with overseeing storage, takes on a new role as a space for contemplation. Its purpose lies in guiding visitors through an incomplete and intricate exploration of one-of-a kind artworks, unfolding their layers — the technical, the conceptual, and the material. ‘Unpacked’ acts as a dissemination point, where eleven GEMZ Talents push their critical reflection into active world-building in the presence of the visitor. Collectively they initiate a communal dialogue that seeks out a broad audience in the here and now.

Participating artists and designers: Andreea Cojocaru, Dominik Cunningham, Elise Hoebeke, Fleuri La Belle, Karoline Healy, Maureen Kortenbusch, Pauline Hepner, Sulo Bee, Xinyi Wang, Yu Fujiwara and Zofia Skoroszewska.

Programme tutors: Kathy-Ann Tan, Misha Kahn, Benedikt Fischer, Irma Földényi, Jing He, Rana Ghavami, Brandon Wen

Curated by Current Obsession

Graphic design by Linda Beumer

Images by Anwyn Howarth