architecture in gold and silver

Architecture in gold and silver / Nissim Mevorach for Haaretz / Debel Art Gallery, Jerusalem / 1981

Deganit Schocken exhibits brooches which are primarily fusions of formative elements of gold and silver. As a result, there are within them colorful values, but they are, primarily, miniature abstract sculptures.
Their integration on a body or dress background is not illustrated in the exhibition so that one cannot evaluate them from their functional aspect, except by imagination.

As independent objects, however, they arouse much interest. Their creator succeeds, in a certain sense, in treading between the drops without getting wet. Indeed, despite their meticulous finish, the exhibits do not create the impression that they are "slick", as does standard commercial jewelry.

Deganit Schocken's ability to invent forms is very developed. She employs it well in these works and frequently also in the accessories which are at first glance technical in nature, such as hinges and pins. The elements of her jewelry function often as mini vectors; that is to say, even in their static position they give the viewer the impression that there is in them a certain movement, if not tension. In addition, there is a declared intention while putting them on or holding them, to put them to work and move them in order ot derive an additional visual experience.

The construction of the exhibits is at times architectural. They possess a fundamental resemblance to those structures which leave the construction open to view, in order to stress the static forces working within. It is possible, perhaps, to locate the elements in some of them which are reminiscent of the drawings of mechanisms by Leonardo D'Vinci. In order to illustrate that aspect of the works, there are also photographs of the jewelry in an unclasped position exhibited on the walls.

Modern jewelry making here treads a path between various foci of attraction: purism of form, at times, or its exact opposite based some of the time on amorphousness, or various kinds of Orientalisms or the like.

This is a not insignificant part of the results of the breaking away from the continuum of a design culture of thousands of years in this specific field. Yet, Deganit Schocken's works do show a partial reliance upon such values such as breastplate-like motifs interlaces in some of her works, and also upon textures having a mechanical nature grounded in universal, physical legitimacy which has its charm.

The dimensions of these works requires viewing them from close up, and no small pleasure is in store for that viewer who is equipped with a sufficient degree of concentration and willingness to read the significances of the minute details.