Su san Cohn
Pieces of Peace

20th May – 24th June 2023
Anna Schwartz Gallery

OPEN­ING SAT­UR­DAY 20 MAY 2023


Pieces of Peace
inter­ro­gates the broad poten­tial of adorn­ment as a peace-tool while exam­in­ing the impact of indus­tri­al pro­duc­tion on hand mak­ing in the age of automation. 

A cen­tral point of dis­tinc­tion is Cohn’s choice to work with machines rather than arti­fi­cial intel­li­gence. Cohn notes that machines are arti­fi­cial assis­tants, lack­ing agency and free­dom, there­by per­fect for repet­i­tive tasks. Machines have the capac­i­ty for for­ev­er fab­ri­ca­tion, allow­ing them to con­tin­ue mak­ing long after the artist has gone home, or even passed away. For Cohn, this presents an oppor­tu­ni­ty to explore the ten­sion between the demo­c­ra­t­ic and the elite as con­tex­tu­alised by the artist’s stu­dio prac­tice. The robots will do the work most of the time, but they will not chal­lenge the artist. For Su san Cohn, machines are a tool used to explore ideas, not collaborators. 

In Pieces of Peace, pro­duc­tion seeks to sub­vert the idea of machines being used to cre­ate com­po­nents for war­fare by using them instead to pro­duce peace offer­ings in the form of tokens and wear­able craft. Through­out Cohn’s prac­tice, she has explored the lan­guage of jew­ellery as an anti­dote to soci­ety’s anx­i­ety about the stranger, the oth­er and the inter­per­son­al­ly fractured. 

The inher­ent poten­tial of jew­ellery as a peace-tool is a cen­tral theme through­out the exhi­bi­tion. Cohn posits that these adorn­ments can serve as a means of com­mu­ni­ca­tion and sol­i­dar­i­ty between peo­ple dur­ing dif­fi­cult times. Togeth­er, the art­works explore the role these pieces play in cre­at­ing a sense of con­nec­tion and under­stand­ing between peo­ple as some­thing which must be acti­vat­ed by per­son­hood & humanness. 

In its total­i­ty Pieces of Peace explores the poten­tial of jew­ellery as a peace-tool, while exam­in­ing the impact of indus­tri­al pro­duc­tion on tra­di­tion­al hand mak­ing tech­niques. Using robot­ic assis­tance in the pro­duc­tion of these pieces, Cohn cre­ates objects that are beside the point, objects that are acces­sories to the per­for­mance or action of peace­mak­ing itself. The view­er is invit­ed to world-build and ulti­mate­ly, ush­er into exis­tence, a nar­ra­tive of machines which, rather than being employed for destruc­tion, exem­pli­fy togeth­er­ness, rec­on­cil­i­a­tion, and peace.

Images

Su san Cohn

Dirty, Dull , Dangerous , 2022
UFac­to­ry LITE 6 table­top 6 axis 
robot arm pro­grammed with 12 tasks
dimen­sions variable

Su san Cohn

Pieces of Peace, 2023
Instal­la­tion view

Su san Cohn

Peace/​Let’s start again, 2015
Cot­ton, ster­ling sil­ver, gold sol­der, magnets
430400mm

Su san Cohn

Peace Rings, 2023
Fine sil­ver rings, gal­vanised steel, poly­mer clay, Japan­ese cot­ton, aluminium
Ring: 65mm thick, var­i­ous diameters
Ring stand: 33.7mm x 30mm x 11.5mm

Su san Cohn

Peace Ear­rings, 2023
Anodised alu­mini­um, fine sil­ver fittings
44mm diameter

Su san Cohn

Peace Token, 2023
Alu­minum, paper pack­age, unlim­it­ed edition
44mm diameter

Su san Cohn

Peace Tool Kit, 2023
Fine sil­ver, Japan­ese cot­ton wrap, wal­nut wood, s/​s scribe,
s/​s peace touch mark, waxed linen thread, rapid draw film, 
her­ring­bone tape, poly­mer clay
Wrap: 345mm square, Piece of peace (pop): 21585 x .04mm