Barcelona, 2019.

"Teresa Estapé (Barcelona, 1972) practices in two distinct disciplines: jewelry and the visual arts. In both, there is an ongoing interest in questioning the meaning of value based on the logic of the market. In Oro, papel, diamante she composed a narrative in which the three materials become different goods to those which the market has accustomed us to. Gold, paper and diamonds have the unique quality of being elements with an inflated value - an economic value that is always fluctuating. The use of gold and diamonds in jewellery has taken on a dimension that goes beyond the symbolic and ancestral, becoming objects of desire, or rather consumption, due above all to that which theorist Yannis Stavrakakis describes as the “democracy of consumption”. However, paper is not a natural element - it is a created product, that has no use in jewelry but acquires an excessive value when turned into currency or security paper. 

Estapé takes these three overvalued elements and subjects them to an inverse process - devaluation. To do so, she minimizes their most attractive or seductive properties. In doing so, she places her own status as a jeweler into crisis, because what matters here is to challenge the public. Her intentions are actually already discernible in her Unjewelry range, in which the pieces are the result of a process that reduces them to their minimum expression, returning the jewelry to its atavistic, symbolic and emotional essence. The idea of not-jewel manifests itself in the creative process, in which, with minimal violence, the piece is left moments away from disappearance or breaking. As such, the people who own them are in a different position than those who buy them to satisfy their need to consume or feed their vanity.

In Oro, papel, diamante these actions are accentuated using an artistic language. In the pieces Diamond (2019) and No commercial value (2019), we can see the artist’s willingness to subvert certain rules in the treatment of materials considered valuable. Using high temperature and airflow, she has managed to “freeze” a “precious” stone to strip its brightness and return it to its original stone state."

Zaida Trallero

Original diamond appraisal.

Research process. "Diamonds" by Eric Bruton.

Still from Sin Valor Comercial. Solo exhibition Oro, papel, diamante.

Graphic image by Ambar Amill. Solo exhibition Oro, papel, diamante at Chiquita Room. Barcelona, 2019.

Exhibition hall with the piece Diamante in the centre.