Photos by Gosia Janik y Fernando Ocaña
Like something out a Terry Gilliam film, FEEAS jewelry by Remedios Vincent creates jewelry from antique medical instruments, porcelain figures, and prosthetics. Drawn to objects that have to do with the human body and its improvement, he chooses each piece for its beauty, longevity, and ability to make a statement about he current state of planned obsolescence in fashion. With his motto, “made to dislike”, Vincent’s work stirs feelings of morbid fascination through eyelash encrusted glasses, false eye rings, and broaches spangled with teeth. More than just a way to repurpose aging, outdated medical technology and discarded toys, FEEAS jewelry uses historical context and craft to comment on the lack of quality and skill we find in current industry-driven style.
“What fascinates me about antiques, besides the great formal beauty that I find in each piece that I choose, is how well that were designed and executed, you only have to look at how they have lasted and that they can continue to do so. Many of the things that I use are more than a century old and still carry out the function for which they were created. Today it is very difficult to find anything that is regularly used, which is not too expensive and exclusive, that has a long life. Obsolescence is part of the world in which we live, there is the need to feed the machinery of consumption.”
Each object carries a story from someone who lived at another time. Piecing together these narratives like a collage, he positions broken porcelain in the “most macabre” and humorous way that occurs to him, and blends old tools and machinery into traditional jewelry. He generally shuns precious metals and opts for objects of little commercial value. What Vincent appreciates is the ability to intervene “minimally in the materials” that come together to complete his vision.
Vincent remarked that he does not particularly see himself as a fashion designer or an artist, but as someone who makes pieces of an artist character that do not have a specific or commercial purpose. For him, fashion is too fleeting and changing for his aesthetic approach which deals more with the idea of longevity. However, self adornment and expression through clothing should still be something that pays respect to the environment.
“We must look at what we have around us and think about sustainability in the most natural and closest form to our daily lives, with no one daring to sell it as an added value. It is not ethical for us to dress and “decorate” ourselves in a way that damages nature and our fellow men, in any manner whatsoever. As fashion is an industry that moves so much money, wouldn’t it be logical to assist in the development of the environment in which it is conceived, instead of being so interested in searching out cheap production in countries where there is no objection to the ruthless exploitation of workers?”
He crafts his pieces with primarily with the intent of inspiring emotion and transforming things that were simply utilitarian and practical into ornamental. For most of his pieces, Vincent sees them more as works of art than objects to be worn. He cautions that if they are to be taken out into public, they should be delicately cared for and recognized for their fragility. One-of-a-kind creations, his efforts into displaying the detail and attention of lasting craftsmanship counter the current desire for quick, cheap, and meaningless jewelry.