FOR WHOM? FOR EVERYONE
Interview with Gabi Dziuba on the occasion of the new collaboration GABI DZIUBA X CALDO, "WIE GEHT'S?" "GUT, UND DIR?" comprised of a handmade silver bracelet
Interview by Annabelle Ferlings, Jan 2022 (Translated by Tiffany Peach)
Den deutschen Text gibt es hier
Photo: Daniel Mayer
Gut, und Dir ?
How are you?
I am well, and you?
How would you describe your work? Rough or playful? Classic or contemporary? (I believe it is timeless) Who is your art for? Is it accessible to everyone?
You think it is timeless? Maybe that is because I consciously deal with the times we are living in. Günther Förg once said: “Martin Kippenberger and you, you two are always a bit ahead of your time”.
For whom? For everyone.
Classic-contemporary, it has to be portable + not too loud – I don’t want to make portable art. But maybe I would like to send a little message. Just like my earrings: “OH” – on the left an O and on the right an H – typical earrings + when someone looks at them they see OHHHHHH from left to right. In between is the face, the head, the hair, the eyes, the mouth, the face, the head. OOOOOHHHH. The font is from Rocky Horror Picture Show. Strangely, only a few people can read it. I love letters, even when they flow, melt, or drip. But I don’t have a favourite. It is accessible for everyone. I designed a workshop together with a showroom by Heimo Zobernig in Berlin, in Rosa-Luxemburg St. 25! In case I am not there, there is a phone on the wall next to the door just like the one from Holly Golightly (Breakfast at Tiffany’s) + Instagram „dziubajewels“.
Do you prefer to work alone, or do you sometimes collaborate with other artists?
I love to work alone, and to be alone – but it is exciting to collaborate, I want to know how others think, what they say, what they like to eat. If they ride their bike to Uzbekistan and why. It teaches me a lot.
Human dignity is inviolable… One of your first engravings, so essential and important. This constitutional law should be internalized and adhered to everywhere. Yet it is broken every day. Do you think jewelry can remind us of these values in our everyday life? Should we maybe all be wearing this bracelet?
In the United States almost everyone carries a gun in their bag + I thought a bracelet like this wouldn’t be so bad either. Today we demand respect. I like the idea of wearing this constitutional law on your wrist, it is so universal it could be a tattoo, it affects everyone, does not require a gender (or pronouns).
Your lines resemble tattoos .. do you think there are similarities? What do you think of tattoos?
I like tattoos, would love to have one or two myself, but I can’t decide. After my mother passed I went on a vacation to Guadeloupe with my father. He gave me these wafer-thin, finely crafted golden hoops which I didn’t want to wear at first. Then my father died, too. I started wearing the hoops and only took them off to sleep, though not always. One day I lost one of them in a club. I didn’t want to walk around with just one earring, so I made a replacement, the same size – just the fine lines + embellishments I couldn’t replicate, and the gold foil wasn’t as thin either. At some point I lost the second earring, too, so I made another one. I was wearing these “replacement hoops” every day for 35 years. I haven’t since Covid-19.
When you got grounded you thought it would be counterproductive to use the time to study. Instead, you listened to music, Jimmy Hendrix, The Doors etc.. Some of their lyrics are now a part of your art! Would you say that rebellion is a part of your work? Is rebellion productive?
„The scream oft the butterfly” is one of my favorite lines because it is so paradoxical and unique: Who has ever heard a butterfly scream? If someone asks you to engrave something, do you like to be surprised or do you prefer lines that require a certain level of effort from the observer? An interpretation … irony? (is that ironic?)
Robbie Williams has „Chacun a son Goût” tattooed as a necklace.
What were your first thoughts when you heard: “How are you? I am well, and you?”. We have talked about the fact that many people ask this question without listening, often launching into a monologue about their own lives without considering the other person, let alone showing any genuine interest how the other person is really doing. To this end you quote a line which summarizes some of the experiences of your exhibition opening: “Hi and Bye”. Does this attitude annoy you? Do you think we could face each other differently? Do we need a new language, new expressions?
You have compared the steel props you use with letterpresses or typewriters. You place every letter individually, so the letters fluctuate, and every bracelet becomes one of a kind. But you also make mistakes: You once cut “Wiege” instead of “Liebe” (“cradle” instead of “love”) into silver. What happens with the piece in that case? Does this upset you or do you take it with humour?
That depends on the line, the person who wants it + and how much I get it wrong. “Never forget the cradle” was impossible to save. Vera, a friend of mine, thought it was so funny that I gave her the bracelet as a birthday gift.
How does you work and your art change over the course of time? You made your first bracelet many years ago. What changed since then? Do you still use the same materials? What part of the work is your most and least favorite?
The materials – silver and gold – have stayed the same. My favourite part is the cutting, seeing how the letters dance, the concentration it takes, to form a word out of metal with punches + hammers is something entirely different than writing it. You can revise the letter if it tilts too far to the left or right, but not if it’s too far up or down. Tap it once and the letter is in + you must check how it turned out. In that way, I communicate with each and every letter individually.
Photo: Teresa Iten
ABOUT GABI DZIUBA
Gabi Dziuba has been designing and fabricating jewellery since her studies at Fachhochschule für Gestaltung in Pforzheim and Akademie der Bildenden Künste in Munich.
She recreates ordinary and ephemeral objects of every-day life or things in vogue with precious materials, such as white gold and diamonds, and so renders them into imperishable unique pieces. Gabi Dziuba’s jewellery is influenced by her personal observations and experiences, while at the same they bear witness to the historical and social context.
In addition to her own work, Gabi Dziuba regularly has co-operated with renowned artists and has issued limited editions of extraordinary objects transgressing the border between applied arts and crafts on the one hand, and autonomous artworks on the other.
Her work was presented recently in the exhibition JEWELS at Galerie Nagel Draxler together with photographs and paintings by Henning Strassburger in Munich (May-June 2021). Dziubas work was also shown at Galleria Civica di Modena (with Christian Philipp Mueller), Neues Museum Nuremberg (with Hans-Jörg Mayer) or at Gemeentemuseum Den Haag (with Günther Förg), just to name a few.
After having lived and worked in Munich as one of the major figures of the Munich author’s jewellery scene, she relocated to Berlin in 2009. The showroom of her workshop was designed by Heimo Zobernig.