Dichotomy | Ana Khouri Presentation | Paris

July 6th 2016, Paris

What is deem to be beautiful depends on its context, but where does beauty reside? Is it in the materials it is made from? Is it in its utility? Is it in its design? Sometimes the fairest things are those that are the most ordinary, and sometimes, the things that are automatically said to be so, because they are precious, are not. If beauty is something that is fluid and abstract, then it is not intrinsic to any particular thing. It is also not bound to the quality of materials found in an object, but is in its design. Growing up in Brazil, one learns to embrace this dichotomy. We see beauty in everyday objects and materials and use them with the same interest as those that are high-end. Many of these things have an innate quality that is separate from their utility, even though it often goes unrecognized. When Ana was designing these pieces, she kept coming back to these ideas. If beauty is just as vibrant and present in a piece of Corian as it is a handcrafted necklace, then why not find a way to demonstrate that. Growing up in Brazil, you learn to embrace this dichotomy. We see beauty in everyday objects and materials and use them with the same interest as those that are high-end. Many of these things have an innate quality that is separate from their utility, even though it often goes unrecognized. When Ana was designing these pieces, she kept coming back to these ideas. If beauty is just as vibrant and present in a piece of Corian as it is a handcrafted necklace, then why not find a way to demonstrate that.

By juxtaposing each of the pieces with these common objects, the hope is to refocus the attention on what makes a thing beautiful. Many of these items are not ones that would be described using that word, but when they are in this space and in a context with other objects they are associated with beauty, namely jewelry, they look and feel attractive. Through this renewed focus, these things become unhinged from any associations one may have of them and become new again. This is what Ana finds so compelling: "that this shift in how we appraise everyday things also impacts how the viewer sees my work." The pieces are no longer simply beautiful because one expects jewelry to be or because of the materials used to make them, they are in spite of them. In the same way that an ordinary object can be elevated to the level of art, so to can jewelry be further elevated through a renewed focus on its form and design.

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