French conceptual jewellery artist EMMANUEL LACOSTE practices different kinds of art: sculpture, installation, performance, etc. But everything started with jewellery. “When I discovered how conceptually rich these tiny and precious objects were, it opened hidden doors leading to broad creative landscapes in my life.”
Emmanuel Lacoste is conceptual jewellery artist since 2007. Before that he finished AFEDAP Contemporary Jewellery School in Paris, where he also has been a regular speaker. Since 2012 he is a teacher in Paris College of Art, Fashion department, teaching “Wearable objects” class. He has shown his works in many group and solo exhibitions, as well as performances around the world.
Among all types of artistic creation, there is one essential thing that sets jewellery apart – it`s direct physical contact with the body. We wear it on and sometimes within our skin. This proximity creates a very intimate and personal relationship between us and the piece.
The work of Emmanuel Lacoste follows a line of research with multiple entries, structured around the relationship existing between the body and the piece, the piece and the body.
This body is anatomical, intimate, social, political or symbolic. It is matter and sometimes material. The medias – jewellery, sculpture, installation, performance – are used as tools adapted to the subject, they convey conceptual or formal intentions, often intuitive.
TONGUES, tongue jewellery
“Tongues” are part of the project « EX-CARNE » – body consciousness – a sensorial experience:
In this project, I propose pieces that are body experiences by stimulating senses – sight, touch, hearing – in order to make people conscious of their inner organs, of parts we usually don’t think or are afraid of.
“Tongues” conveys the preciousness of the only inner organ that is directly accessible, and which is the organ of taste and speech.
FLESH, meat ring
This ring presents the flesh – and by extension the human body – as a precious material, like a traditional jeweller would do with a diamond. Set on a massive 22-carat gold ring, the piece of meat frozen in its freshness reveals to us that the living body, in opposition to the relic which is dead by definition, is dear to us.
As a metaphor for the preciousness of the human body, “Flesh” also questions the notion of value.
BASTA CHE STAI BENE, blood pearl necklace
A few years ago my grandmother gave me her old pearl necklace. The clasp was broken, so she said I could sell the pearls or make new pieces with them for money. I noticed the pearls were fake: glass beads covered with mother-of-pearl. But she didn’t know and I didn’t tell her. So I took off this layer of mother-of-pearl and replaced it with my own blood.
My grandma is the most generous person I ever had in my life. She never really understood what was my job, what I was doing. But she always ends our conversations by this sentence:
“Basta che stai bene”,
which in Italian means “As long as you’re ok”.