Su san Cohn
UNcom­mon moments

27th August – 3rd October 2015
Anna Schwartz Gallery

Three moments: Dying, Wel­com­ing, Continuing.

None of these are easy. There is always a strug­gle when some­body dies, or arrives, or is even just try­ing to con­tin­ue. These moments could be said to mark the lim­its of com­mu­ni­ty: the liv­ing and the dead, the in-group and the out-group, the heart of the group itself. Such depar­tures, arrivals and con­tin­u­a­tions should be recog­nised, and marked. How can such a ges­ture be made? Jew­ellery is more than its mate­ri­al­i­ty, the cre­ation of a beau­ti­ful adorn­ment. It is a gift, giv­ing. It can say: I see, I wish I could make it bet­ter for you. It recog­nis­es pain at the lim­its and turns it into an exchange, forg­ing an ongo­ing bond.

First moment: Death is the most com­mon and uncom­mon of moments. It is almost unbear­able. Toe Tag is a way to say good­bye in life beyond life itself; to antic­i­pate and accept the end, to mark it and alle­vi­ate its bur­den. Toe Tag is a tal­is­man, not for death but for life. The end becomes a beginning.

Sec­ond moment: A begin­ning requires a wel­come. A child enters a com­mu­ni­ty through birth; a for­eign­er enters a com­mu­ni­ty as a stranger. Every com­mu­ni­ty has bound­aries but must also wel­come strangers. To wel­come an out­sider is to offer true hos­pi­tal­i­ty. To open the gate or the hands, to give a new pos­si­bil­i­ty to the unknown guest, is one of the great­est of gifts. Styx is

jew­ellery to say wel­come, to invite a per­son with­out home­land to enter a new home. The god­dess Styx was said to have had mirac­u­lous pow­ers; the Styx is a mag­i­cal stick, a mes­sage stick with which to nego­ti­ate the way into a new community.

Third moment: To be at the very heart of com­mu­ni­ty is not always to be com­fort­able. The rit­u­als of every­day life may be banal and awful. Keep­ing calm, con­tin­u­ing through the mun­dane, can be an extreme expe­ri­ence, where per­son­al suf­fer­ing is masked and has no pub­lic place. Gan­bat­te jew­ellery says I see your strug­gle; know some­one is think­ing of you.

Susan Cohn, 2015

Images

Su san Cohn

Your Secret Is Safe With Me, 2015
Toe Tag: 750 yel­low gold, 375 pink gold, silk rib­bon: 7.53.50.03 cm, Ebony Box: 375 pink gold, mag­nets: 206.52 cm, Pine cas­ket: linen, rope, plas­tic crates: 2005866.5 cm, Dig­i­tal video pro­jec­tion: 2 min­utes 44 seconds

Su san Cohn

Good­bye, 2015
60227 cm; dig­i­tal video: 1 minute

Su san Cohn

Styx, 2015
9 Styx, Steel mesh dis­play, Ebony, Huon Pine, 375 pink gold, fine sil­ver, linen cord, 8GB USB
Long: 1.20.918.5 cm, medi­um: 1.20.911 cm, short: 1.20.94.8 cm

Su san Cohn

Gate, 2015
Left: 207217 cm, right: 207217

Su san Cohn

Look­ing forward, 2015

Su san Cohn

Keep­ing On, 2015
Installation
Dimen­sions variable

Su san Cohn

Gan­bat­te Jewellery, 2015
7 pins, alu­mini­um tray
4010 cm