Residency dates — This residency is split into two periods //
23 April - 4 May and 21 May - 3 June


Gender and adornment research, documentation archive from San Francisco field trip, November 2016, photo: Lignel / Wiggers. This research was supported by a Craft Research Fund grant from The Center for Craft, Creativity & Design, Inc., which was administered by Art Jewelry Forum.


PRAKSIS’s 9th residency, Adornment and Gender: Engaging Conversation is developed with artist, writer and curator Benjamin Lignel, in collaboration with Norwegian Crafts. The residency will take place in Oslo from 23 April – 3 June 2018, with intensive collective activity taking place in two sessions (i) 23 April - 4 May and (ii) 21 May - 3 June. Selected residents have the option to stay in Oslo for the entire duration, or to commute for each of the two sessions (further details below).

Over the past two years, Benjamin Lignel has been researching together with Namita Wiggers. This duo are interested in how gender politics are intertwined with material practices of creating, putting on, customising, mixing adornment. They have been talking, with performers, thinkers, artists, collectors, dealers, asking them how adornment has informed their professional and or private lives, and how it contributes to (their) performance of gender.

In positioning the focus of this research centred residency, Benjamin writes:

“There is some urgency in documenting the role jewellery plays in individual expressions of gender, and making conversation around jewellery as a means to enforce and disrupt norms: we would like to understand how personal his and her stories mesh with social policies and body politics to inform the polyphony of adornment strategies. This may be achieved by interviewing subjects, photographing them, or asking them to share documents from their archives.

There is also urgency in understanding how to present documents of personal and artistic expression to a wider public in a way that respects speakers, amplifies their voices, and opens conversations about the intersection between jewellery and gender. This may be achieved by publishing interviews, pictures, archives, or presenting them in an exhibition.”

During Adornment and Gender: Engaging Conversation a group of local and international residents from varied backgrounds, will work alongside Lignel to question these premises, collectively seeking alternative ways of making stories and evidence of adornment available to the public.

In the process, Lignel will share research conducted with Namita Wiggers to date, and proposes to test hypotheses about how most effectively disseminate findings. Residents are invited to question conventional dissemination formats (i.e. the book, the exhibition) and their premises: that an exhibition is ephemeral, that visitors know less than curators, that knowledge is scientific, and an exhibition a form of proof, that a book is more accessible than an online platform and so on.

The residency will be divided in two sessions:

Session 1 (23 April - 4 May) will be devoted to presenting participants’ involvement in subject, sharing sources (through reading sessions and screenings), discussing Lignel and Wigger’s material to date, questioning methodologies, harvesting new testimonies locally. A seminar will take place during this first session to hear artists, anthropologists, queer theorists, performance artists on gender and adornment.

Session 2 (21 May - 3 June) will focus on presentation strategies, online and in real life, of the material produced/discussed in session 1. During this second session, a series of visits will create the opportunity for participants to meet with: information designers, sociologists, educators, graphic designers, conservators.





Benjamin Lignel is an artist, writer and curator. He was the editor of Art Jewelry Forum between January 2013 and December 2016, and edited three books under AJF’s imprint, including the first book-length study of jewelry exhibition-making. His most recent curatorial project was Medusa, Jewellery and Taboos (2017) at the Musée d’Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris, in collaboration with Anne Dressen and Michèle Heuzé. Benjamin has lectured extensively on craft, and likes to organize (or co-organize) symposia on jewellery, of which The Public and Private Lives of Jewellery (Zimmerhof, 2011), Forgetting Jewellery (Paris, 2017) and The Fuzzy, the Fake and the Double - Trouble in Ornament (Paris, 2017). He is a guest teacher at the Akademie der Bildende Künste (Nürnberg) and at Alchimia (Florence), and a mentor in the Handshake 4 pedagogical program (New Zealand). Ben regularly contributes essays to magazines, monographs and museum publications, and is currently working with co-editor Namita Wiggers towards a series of publications on jewelry and gender. He lives in Montreuil (France).



Norwegian Crafts (established 2012) is a non-profit organisation whose aim is to strengthen the position of Norwegian contemporary crafts. The organisation facilitates exchange between agents in the international craft scene in order to create more opportunities for Norwegian artists and craft professionals abroad. Norwegian Crafts works with a wide range of projects within five main areas: exhibition programmes; critical theory and publications; market development; network and exchange; and residencies and support programmes.



Benjamin Lignel worked together with staff from Norwegian Crafts and PRAKSIS to select a diverse group of ten talented participants from arts, crafts, jewelry, fashion and research backgrounds. These include: Tone Bjerkaas (NO), Auli Laitinen (SE), Matt Lambert (US), Nanna Melland (NO), Darja Popolitova (EE), Aleyda Rocha (MX), Mallika Roy (US), Heidi Sand (NO), Shweta Sharma (IN), Ahmed Umar (NO).





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