Getting Paid To Do Cool Shit: Curator Kellie Riggs
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In the 37th episode of Perceived Value, host Sarah Rachel Brown travels to NYC to visit the Museum of Arts and Design to see their current exhibition Non-Stick Nostalgia: Y2K Retrofuturism in Contemporary Jewelry. The exhibition, which is on display through July 21st, was curated by Kellie Riggs, a contemporary jeweler, writer, and woman known for getting things done.
Having previously connected during Munich Jewellery Week, the two woman sat down to discuss how Kellie came to be a guest curator for the MAD, what it means to be a curator with an institution of this size, and being a bad to student to get things done.
Thank you to the Museum of Arts and Design for giving Perceived Value a space to record and to Kellie Riggs for your kindness and hospitality.
Kellie Riggs (b.1986, Washington State) is a writer, critic and curator with a focus on Contemporary Jewelry. She received her BFA in Jewelry + Metalsmithing at the Rhode Island School of Design in 2011, and upon graduating received a Fulbright Grant to Italy, where she remained for seven years between Rome and Florence. She is an external editor at Dutch platform and magazine, Current Obsession, with whom she co-curated the exhibition CULT at the newly renamed Design Museum den Bosch in 2016. Kellie has recently relocated to New York City where she is curating for MAD while earning a Masters at New York University in Visual Art Administration.
INSTAGRAM: @kellieriggs < personal page @riggs.jewelry < jewelz
Taken from the Museum of Arts and Design website:
About the Exhibition
The world teetered on the fulcrum of the year 2000. In the naïve glow of the early Internet, promises of the future were dreamt up, drawn out, and wildly aestheticized. Buoyant and iridescent, virtual and galactic, a new visual reality infiltrated the era, making the future tangible.
It was adolescents who absorbed this imagery. In their bedrooms after school they dialed up and logged on, curiously navigating the digital frontier. They began to piece together their personal identities, uncovering at a record pace who it was they might become.
In the twenty years since, those youthful explorations have taken an inward, self-prioritizing turn. Today, we grapple with image oversaturation, URL/IRL hybridity, device dependency, oversharing, a glittery kind of narcissism. Self-actualization has become open source; individuality, user-generated. Millennials have been raised cyborg. They know they are being viewed.
Contemporary jewelry—the personal expressiveness it stands for, and the combustion of tradition and technology bubbling in the core of its material DNA—is a uniquely telling manifestation of the psyche of our time. Non-Stick Nostalgia: Y2K Retrofuturism in Contemporary Jewelry highlights the work of twenty-nine international artists who explore the friction between the analog and the digital. The exhibition also includes a selection of pieces from MAD’s permanent collection that present different interpretations of futurism in jewelry. The featured contemporary pieces channel an aesthetic that is plastic and pixelated, vibrant and glossy, amorphous or chromed, echoing the post-nascent Internet culture that has evolved since the dawn of the twenty-first century. Like the cultivated digitized images of millennial cyber personas, jewelry has become hyper-real. Together, they are in idyllic sync.
Whether born from predication, nostalgia, or a combination of the two, the jewelry acts as a proposition: Could it allow us to become the perfect avatars—our maximal, fully realized selves?
Since 1956, MAD has collected and shown innovative studio and contemporary jewelry that lies at the intersection of art, craft, and design and challenges the boundaries of the medium. This exhibition exemplifies the Museum’s continued dedication to supporting emerging and established jewelry artists and new concepts that evolve the understanding of the field.
Non-Stick Nostalgia: Y2K Retrofuturism in Contemporary Jewelry is curated by Kellie Riggs with the support of MAD Assistant Manager of Curatorial Affairs Angelik Vizcarrondo-Laboy. It was secured for the Museum by Assistant Curator Barbara Paris Gifford. Design consultation by Misha Kahn.
Non-Stick Nostalgia: Y2K Retrofuturism in Contemporary Jewelry is supported by Creative Industries Fund NL, the Consulate General of the Netherlands as part of the Dutch Culture USA program, The Immersive Experiences Lab at HP, the Rotasa Fund, the Consulate General of Sweden, and The American-Scandinavian Foundation.