Otto Künzli

Source:   Die Neue Sammlung

Otto Künzli makes us question an object's perceived value in his piece "Gold Makes You Blind". In a project where designers had to use a gold ball of a specific size, Künzli made a bracelet of solid gold completely encased in rubber. Upon viewing this piece one has to "blindly" trust the makers word that it contains materials of high worth.

Bringing into question of what makes a piece truly valuable, this bracelet made in 1980 shows the art movement of "the democratization of materials" that started in the 1970's and is still relevant. Jewelry artists started using inexpensive materials in response to the long-held tradition of preciousness, studying the history thoroughly in order to contest it. They wanted to create items that were desirable without using materials that only the elite could afford, that were more about experimentation and inventive processes. This "Gold Makes Us Blind" piece shows Künzli's reappraising gold and was exhibited surrounded by black to heighten the meaning of the piece.