Florian Böhm · Sara Jewelry
Color photography (2005)
Reproduced on 100% Silk · Limited Edition of 50 · Size: 134 X 107 cm
Italian curator Emanuela Nobile Mino on Florian Böhm's edition:
I’ll Be Your Mirror.
What distinguishes the object from the subject is basically the question of the role that, by definition, each is respectively called on to assume and of the relationship that they are destined to forge with each other by nature. The former (the object) is born with a precise but passive function—that of being used by the second (the active subject). The intrinsic functionality of every object varies according to the requirements of the subject, which, depending on personal, social, environmental and cultural needs, will determine which typology of object will turn out to be compatible with the gratification of its own or other people’s everyday desires and/or needs. Consumerism, whose aim is (and was) to expand significantly the spectrum of the subject’s needs in nourishing its instinct to crave, has ended up by overturning the terms of the atavistic relationship between subject and object.
The (craving) subject in a consumer society has witnessed little by little a transformation of its own decision-making power over the object and the hegemony of its own taste in dependency and fetishism, aptitudes that have become manifest materially via diverse behavioural phenomena—for example, eagerness to possess, immense seductiveness and submissiveness—that reveal an interesting affinity with the perversions that generally develop in a sexual context, in terms of lust.
Lust—the enthusiastic desire for pleasure as an end in itself—is an ‘immoderation’ that is associated etymologically (from Latin, luxare, exaggerate) with another excess—luxury.
The starting point and finishing point for both is the body, a terrain in which subject and object constantly meet and clash in an attempt to define the identity (physical and psychic) of the subject that the body is host to.
Clothes, accessories and in particular jewellery—contemporary transpositions of tribal ornamentation—have acquired added symbolic value in this context, becoming anatomical prostheses capable of expanding the communicative and identitarian potentiality of the body within the social jungle. Florian Böhm’s edition, a reproducion of a photographic representation of one of the glittering shop windows of the Jewelry District of China Town in New York City on an object (otherwise wearable as a scarf), seems intentionally to want reinforce the significance of the linguistic metaphor embodied by the ornamental complement and the whole series of argumentations (the idea of status symbols, the badge of belonging to a group, fashion victimism, business, down to the money laundering that this may presuppose. Moreover, in making the faculty of being able to flaunt the valuable goods on show in the window all together a material possibility—via the hyperbolic presentation of its simulacrum printed on silk—the project concerned ironically mirrors the lustful desire for luxury and satisfies, at the same time, the spasmodic quest to gratify it.
Florian Böhm, born in 1969, lives and works in Munich and New York. He has exhibited his work at various international institutions including KunstWerke Institute for Contemporary Art (Berlin), Storefront for Art and Architecture (New York), Haus der Kunst (Munich), Fondazione Adriano Olivetti (Rome), and Fondation Cartier pour l'Art Contemporain (Paris). He was co-founder of the project EndCommercial® / Reading the City, a visual record of modern urban life. The project contains over 60,000 images, and established a new visual vocabulary to describe our urban experience. Böhm’s publications as editor or author include KGID Konstantin Grcic Industrial Design (Phaidon Press 2005), Wait for Walk (Hatje Cantz 2007) and Commedia dell' Arte - Couture Edition (Birkhäuser 2010). He is represented by Galerie f5,6 in Munich and Amador Gallery in New York. Upcoming Böhm will take part in the exhibition Visions & Fashion. Bilder der Mode 1980-2010 from June 30, 2011 till October 9, 2011 at Kulturforum (Berlin).