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A talk with Ginevra Montoschi ✎

A talk with Ginevra Montoschi ✎

A talk with Ginevra Montoschi ✎ 2003 3000 Dautor

Ginevra Montoschi at TAF space during AJW

AUTOR team went to Athens Jewelry Week and we met many interesting artists and were fascinated by their work. We are happy to have had the chance to talk to some of them.

We present to you Ginevra Montoschi and her art jewelry and installations. She managed to wake a strong feeling inside us with her powerful collection presented in a room upstairs at TAF space, in the center of Athens. Her jewelry was mixed with video installations and soft lights and also mixed with psychological and philosophical quotes. Our interview was inspired by Carl Jung’s quote that she used as a reference “In all chaos, there is a cosmos, in all disorder a secret order.

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AUTOR:  Have you found the place/space where you can create? If yes, describe that place to us.
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Ginevra Montoschi:  I can say that I’ve finally found one! The best coincidence that I got in ages! Basically, I’ve come across this amazing project called Scrap Coop within Ankaa Association here in Athens.
They help people to create programs supported by a collaborative network and self-led workspaces to target skill development, vocational training, language, education, and employment opportunities. The aim is to support the inclusion of all communities and cultures within Greek society. The slogan is: built with the tools you have, not the cards you were dealt with! I thought that was great, amazing. That means sharing the working space with people from all over the world that have probably traveled for years before getting in Athens, where they are stuck in shelters with no Visa and therefore no possibility to move and rarely to work.
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When you own a skill, a profession, a craft ability you just want to make: you want to sit on your bench and make something. Offering them the possibility to have a free space to work is the best way to gather people willing to find their position in this chaotic and individualistic world. In Scrap, as Ankaa, there’s no individual: we are a group. We share tools, skills, food, air, and energies! I believe that this is really important if we want to face the overcoming of individuality and possessions. In Europe we are losing everything: we are what we make, we are what we present, but what if we work together? We are making up a collective of jewelry makers from different countries, religions and actually realities working on the same piece, object. Passing it hand by hand we lose the feeling of possession and somehow we learn how to accept the others and to interwoven our feelings and skills altogether.
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The aim would be participating in fairs and exhibitions all around Europe and give mobility to the jewelry we make, because that doesn’t need a Visa to travel and because in this crazy world humans can be considered illegal, but moving objects is not. And making is always the best therapy to heal crushed souls.
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Ginevra Montoschi and her installation during ATHENS Jewelry Week.

A:  What is chaos for you?
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GM: Because of my Philosophy background, it’s quite difficult for me to answer this question without carefully considering what chaos means. In Ancient Greek, the Universe is called Kosmos, which means order. This word shows the idea of beauty, regularity, and harmony that they were drawn to in the world. ( Kosmíma, the Greek word for jewel, is clearly connected to this meaning.)
The peculiarity is that Kosmos, the Universe in which we all stand, is originated by Chaos: that literally means something like a chasm on the abyss, an archetypal void, a bottomless hole. Actually, everything originates from Chaos.
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Abyss, void, and hole are not defining an empty space, but something like (as we know nowadays) the universe before the Big Bang. An immense land was elements that are floating covering all the space, mixing and creating. With Plato, it became more like a totally dark room in which, letting the light in, you realize that things were perfectly standing there: to understand the chaos we just need a movement and a mind that can control it.
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But I’m not Plato. I can say that Chaos for me is like land. It is actually a meditative-mind-space from which I try to take things out: feelings, emotions, fears, memories. I know that I’m not able to put them in order, but I enjoy mixing so much.

Necklace by Ginevra Montoschi

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A: Do you have chaos in your own life? How do you manage it in your art?
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GM:  I’m pretty sure that everyone has chaos in their lives: events that we can’t control, same as feelings and everything that we would love to have rules, but has not. Or we just can’t understand them. Mathematics and physic can almost calculate everything in our lives, but we don’t do it. We can calculate how much we are breathing in a day or how fast and why our hearts are beating, but we can’t control it. I’m trying to feel free: not to overthink, not to look for understanding and control. I need to lose myself like in a ritual. I want to feel connected with life and the only way I can do this is by accepting death also. Everything perishes and vanish and I can accept that if I take distance from my body and give space to emotions.
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Dance and meditation are helping a lot. This is why I love to play especially with materials and elements that can create a feeling: a smell, a sound, a shadow; in this way I can get lost and try to feel things instead of judging them. To welcome them. I’m trying to create a space where things have no rules, but the way to be defined. To take somehow those feelings out of my big Chaos by fully accepting them and I think this is what I’m trying to do with my jewelry also: to create a space where I can feel free to mix my emotions with the materials I’m playing with. This is why I used videos, aromas, sounds and my body. I’m trying to combine what surrounds me with what I am. The use of my body allowed me to literally feel connected with the material and by moving I’ve realized that everything has a sound and in a way, it’s own life.

Jewelry by Ginevra Montoschi at Ilias Lalaounis Museum

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A:  I saw your pieces at the Ilias Lalaounis Museum, and they’re very different from the ones you presented at TAF for AJW. Where do you find your inspiration?
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GM: When I got in Athens one year ago I had a clear idea of the pieces that I wanted to make there. Then I’ve seen Athens! This city captured me and especially walking to the Lalaounis Museum every day I was used to seeing all houses covered by pink flowers, bougainvillea.
I loved it. And I always loved flowers. In Italy, as I think in most of the cultures, we have a lot of poetry with flowers as the subject: their fragility and short-term life have always been a great metaphor for the fleeting nature. Which anyway is so strong and powerful that it can actually change with its colors and smell the way we perceive all environment.
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As I said before I’m really trying to interact with what surrounds me. Trying to understand what I like and why. To give space to my thoughts and feelings, figuring out where do they come from and how I can play with them.
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The pieces at Lalaounis are a clear example that I couldn’t really order my feelings. I loved those delicate flowers: I was caught by the strength that flowers and nature, in general, have even though they are the most fleeting things we get to see and I had basically transformed flowers into a solid object with paraffine, lanoline and lost wax casting. Totally the opposite of what I loved so much!
After those pieces, I realized that for me it’s really important to be true with myself and accept things without trying to fix them, but interacting and playing as I do in my daily life.  For being able to do this I need to lose myself, not to think. If I want to understand my feelings I need to lose myself, deeply breathing and starting to move my body that of course react to what is touching or wearing.
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A: Have you found your rhythm?
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GM: I can say that I’d found it, but it constantly changes. I think of it as something like seasons: they are different, but constantly repeating and always connected.
Or maybe something like a clock: there is an hour, but this is made by seconds and minutes that are moving together and separately at the same time, coordinate in between each other to build something together. This is how I perceive my rhythm: sometimes I move slowly, sometimes is faster, but always inside the clock. Always with the aim of gathering things together in the end.
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