Kaleido / 24 Sep 2016 - 16 Oct 2016

Solo exhibition at Kaleido in Uppsala

The Châtelaine is Tobias Alm’s most recent body of work. It was be exhibited for the first time in January 2016, in a solo exhibition at Galerie Rob Koudijs in Amsterdam. It will now be exhibited at a solo exibition at Kaleido in Uppsala, Sweden.

The project was initiated in 2015, one year after his graduation from the Master Program at Ädellab, Konstfack.

The Châtelaine is a continuation of Tobias’ investigation in the culture of the tool belt from a jewellery perspective.  The pieces of jewellery in this project are a kind of hybrids between the tool belt of today and a historical piece of jewellery called the châtelaine. They are composed out of fragments of used leather tool belts, combined with gilded silver elements made with repoussé and chasing techniques in a rococo style.

“I started analyzing the tool belt as if it was a piece of jewellery. I discovered a vibrant culture of body adornment embedded in the structure of misogynist, patriarchal masculinities. Masculinity and jewellery have a complex relationship, filled with fears of breaking norms and socially constructed gender rules. It seems as wearing jewellery poses a threat towards certain masculinities, which is counteracted with different strategies to avoid feminization. One of these strategies is to connect jewellery with practical functionality. Examples of this are the tiepin and the cuff link. Because of this, comparing the tool belt with the châtelaine becomes very interesting. These two objects are both filled with practical functionality (tool), and with symbolic and social functionality (jewellery). Although they are very similar in this aspect, they are interpreted very differently because of their different contexts and gender constructs. By joining the tool belt with the châtelaine, and stating that it is a piece of jewellery, I wish to challenge and question the culture of masculinity that surround me, and contribute to an analysis and a reformation of these detrimental gender structures. I believe that the merging of the chatelaine with the tool belt also open up for a new analysis of the practice of wearing jewellery, in relation to the social structures of masculinity.”

-Tobias Alm

Om utställningen på Svenska

”Maskulinitet och smycken har en komplex relation. Det verkar som att bärandet av smycken utgör ett hot mot vissa maskuliniteter, och att detta hot måste motarbetas med strategier för att undvika femininisering. En av dessa strategier är att sammankoppla smycket med praktisk funktion.
För ett par år sedan introducerades jag till en sorts smycke som kallas Châtelaine. Jag insåg snabbt dess nära släktskap med dagens verktygsbälten. Châtelainen och verktygsbältet befinner sig båda i två världar; de är både funktionella verktyg och smycken fyllda med dekorativa och symboliska värden.”

Tobias Alm tog sin masterexamen i smyckekonst på Konstfack 2014. Han har en mängd utställningar bakom sig, både i Sverige och utomlands. Senast var han aktuell i Nationalmuseums stora internationella smyckekonstutställning ”Open space – Mind maps” på Kulturhuset våren 2016.

Utställingen öppnar den 24e September.