This Is Bijou! is a project of cultural enhancement of the ornament for the body that arises the goal of responding to the changing needs of the contemporary market.
The bijou has a well-defined history and giving up knowing it, passing it on, using it as a topic of defining one’s identity is certainly a deplorable lacuna. A story that deserves attention because it is crossed by curious and experimental intelligences, by people who have produced style and innovation but also the exaltation of the conservation of classical formal roots.
In accepting the challenge of the difficult path of representing a phenomenon, This is Bijou! faces a study territory with the aim of understanding the ever new identity territories whose boundaries are continually mediated and modified by the press of new and little-known realities.
The peremptory presence of the exclamation point, added to the title, is a provocative necessity to establish a fixed point in the chaos of wavering definitions: what is presented is not a panorama of contemporary jewels, nor of market costume jewelery, nor do they want to have the presumption of being works of art. To extricate himself from this jungle of confused identity the curator of the event Claudio Franchi draws on the far-sighted vision of Roland Barthes that in him “The meaning of Fashion “states: Bijou is a trifle, but a trifle that gives off great energy: often inexpensive, sold in normal shops and no longer in the temples of jewelry, of various materials, of free inspiration (often even exotic), therefore depreciated in its physical essence, the bijou – even the most modest – remains the vital element of a dressing table, because it emphasizes the desire for order, composition, that is of intelligence. The bijou reigns over the dress not because it is precious in itself but because it contributes in a way determined to make it meaningful.
Three exhibitions scheduled for 2012, from 5 to 22 April at Viart in Vicenza; from 10 to 31 May al Museum of Decorative Arts, Costume and Fashion Boncompagni Ludovisi and finally from 22 to 30 September at the Museo del Bijou in Casalmaggiore, they will present the works of the thirty-eight authors selected for the occasion.