SEGNI SUL VOLTO
“Ornamentation can embellish the body, while decoration changes the content, changes the body and is not only an aesthetic aspect, but also has an impact on the identity and the self.”
A few small extracts from the lecture entitled SIGNS OVER THE FACE: PERMANENT, PERMANENT, EPHEMERAL AND VIRTUAL, given by the professor of Design and Creative Arts Roberta Bernabei for SEGNI SUL VOLTO webinar on 30 October.
“Technologies must somehow be interpreted, used, adopted to bring out our spiritual, human part.”
A few small extracts from the lecture entitled FUTURE SCENARIOS, given by the designer and researcher Chiara Scarpitti for SEGNI SUL VOLTO webinar on 23 October.
“When we use the word ‘volto’ we are actually talking about a reflection of inner reality, we are therefore also talking about the character, the nature of someone or something.”
A few small extracts from the lecture entitled PORTRAITS AND SELF-PORTRAITS IN CONTEMPORARY VISUAL ARTS, given by the teacher of Art history Alessandra Menegotto for SEGNI SUL VOLTO webinar on 16 October.
“… The perception of the face we normally experience […] has been completely altered by the use of the mask.”
A few small extracts from the lecture entitled THE MASK AND THE FACE. MULTIPLE IDENTITIES, given by the teacher of Jewellery history Maria Laura La Mantia, for SEGNI SUL VOLTO webinar on 9 October.
“Territory, memory, ethics: will the reference values of my professional history be useful in the future?”
A few small extracts from the presentation by Carla Riccoboni of the SEGNI SUL VOLTO project, inaugurated on 25 September 2021.
On 27 November, the week of the SEGNI SUL VOLTO workshop ended with a debate, held in the LAO library between the participants involved in the project conceived by Carla Riccoboni and coordinated by Alice Rendon.
In the presence of the school’s artistic director, Giò Carbone, the group discussed what had been produced in the workshop, reflecting on the outcomes and agreeing on the completion of the ongoing project.
A number of jewel-objects were made for performative use, combining the concept of the unique piece with the seriality of modular elements made by digital processes, thus integrating past experience with current techniques.
The material produced is the result of a process of preliminary documentation and collective design methodology based on constant discussion among the participants until the achievement of shared solutions.
From 22 to 27 November, the workshop SEGNI SUL VOLTO was held at LAO’s laboratories in Florence. It was the fundamental phase of the project conceived by Carla Riccoboni and coordinated by Alice Rendon.
For a week, the selected participants were guests of the school: they had materials, equipment and technical skills at their disposal to make tests and models of jewellery objects to be worn on the face.
The prototypes and models are the outcome of the choral effort by the group, which worked in unison from the reflections that emerged in the first phase of the seminar, developed through a process of co-creation. That working methodology is not to be meant as a simple addition of individual contributions of all the group members, but as a progressive fusion of them, through a continuous discussion, made up of advances and rethinks, until a unitary synthesis is reached.
The project is the brainchild of Carla Riccoboni, Italian designer and goldsmith, historic self-producer of jewellery, who has always been interested in the concept of seriality and the ethical and social implications of her profession.
SEGNI SUL VOLTO (SIGNS OVER THE FACE) aims to design a collection of facial objects, as an opportunity to reflect on the identity value of ornamentation, charged with symbolic as well as decorative values: “At a time in history when the pandemic has forced us to cover our faces with a mask, we can rethink of it as the first and most significant means of communication”. (Carla Riccoboni)
Collective design, as a combination of contributions, joining forces, confrontation and analysis, is the method of this initiative, which proposes the creation of a collection of ‘singular multiples’: families of objects in which the principle of variation determines the individual character of each piece. This is the ideal continuation of an experiment conducted between 2011 and 2016, entitled Gioielli come Multipli (Jewels as Multiples), born on the initiative of AGC – Associazione Gioiello Contemporaneo, for which Riccoboni acted as coordinator.
The sign is a constant in Riccoboni’s research, and in her work she investigates the linguistic value of the image, considering the artistic form as a signifier that always refers to a content, to a human and historical reason: “At the basis of all my work is an interest in the sign: sign-trace, sign-letter, sign-module, sign-symbol. From prehistoric graffiti to archetypal symbols, from ideograms to the most complex alphabets, in every age man has tried to communicate his existence and his history with signs”. (Carla Riccoboni)
In the field of body decoration, in particular, signs are accompanied by behavioural and sometimes ritual values that make them a privileged field of research.
SEGNI SUL VOLTO has been opened by investigating the key themes of the seminar, namely the relationship between sign and identity, its expressive and symbolic meanings in history and in the present day, the interdependence between the environment and ornamental forms, and the prospects for decoration and transformation of the body with the advent of new technologies.
A starting ‘open’ phase was dedicated to talks by various experts of the field, focusing on the narrative of jewellery and facial decoration over the centuries, in the present day and in possible future scenarios. Participation in this phase was opened to interested professionals who request it (registration was free), and who were then invited to share images and personal reflections within a private group on the Facebook social platform intended for the exchange and confrontation of ideas.
A second phase, reserved for those enrolled in the workshop (registration was free on selection), was focused on design, meant as a creative moment and a synthesis of technical and ethical awareness. The initial individual proposals were analysed and re-elaborated collectively to arrive together at a collection that adheres to the agreed starting parameters.
Finally, a third phase in the workshop was devoted to the creation of prototypes, the study of ways of communicating and presenting the collection, in order to prepare a final exhibition documenting the stages and outcomes of the project.
We would like to thank all the members involved in this wonderful challenge:
LAO issued a certificate of participation in the workshop, is taking care of the online publication of the project phases and results on the school website, and promotion through social channels and online platforms of contemporary jewellery.
SEGNI SUL VOLTO will be concluded with an exhibition and a dedicated speech in the cycle of conferences scheduled on the occasion of the Florence Jewellery Week 2022 (28 April – 2 May).
Applicants Admitted To The Workshop