An exhibition of unique jewellery pieces inspired by fairy tales,
where we discover that Tom Thumb was only seven years old when he escaped the giant,
and that Sheherazade would have probably made a brilliant therapist...,
where we learn that « real » jewels are magical,
where we understand, finally, who is the « Master of Fire »,
where we realize that Snow White and The Sleeping Beauty maybe did not lose their time in vain,
where we leave with a happy ending !
For this first exhibition organized by LA Joaillerie gallery and dedicated to fairy tales, Karl and Robert Mazlo will present 20 unique and original artworks, 20 contemporary reinterpretations of ancient stories coming straight from their imagination.
But do not expect to find any « Princess ring », nor any grandiloquent diadem among the works exhibited. Here, there is no room for sentimentality ! The two artists have indeed summoned the genuine « Mystery », with symbols, codes and references belonging to the Grand and Universal Picture Book.
This exhibition aims to bridge a gap between these two mediums that are apparently complete strangers to each other. Yet their fraternity has faded in the depth of the Ages. They indeed pursue the same goal : accompanying each individual, taken in the perpetual and uninterrupted flow of time, to experience a rite of passage and enter another stage in life.
This exhibition shows the significations that really lie beyond apparently childish stories and nice ornaments. It unveils their function as gateways to a universal and ancestral form of knowledge.
On the mysterious links between jewellery and sacrifice
Though natural and sincere, this powerful bond between mother and child, in a country where the mother's existence is built with a religious exclusiveness upon this bond and little else, holds the danger of a profound and almost insoluble crisis for mother as well as son. The threat of the crisis can poison the relation between mother and son and the son's whole life. But the natural, painful, and necessary release of the son from the mother, her giving of her fruit (phala) as a gift (dana) to the world, is made possible by the observance (vrata) of the giving of the fruit (phakâdana-vrata). She who would make so great a sacrifice must begin with little things, and through them prepare for the great sacrifice.
The time for the beginning of this observance is indefinite; it is somewhere around the son's fifth year, but it may be later. The observance continues for an indeterminate number of years and takes up one month each year. The house Brahman and spiritual director of the family (guru) supervises it and determines its course; it is he who decides when the mother is ready for its termination; that is, at what point, after what preliminary sacrifices, she is prepared for the actual sacrifice of her son.
The woman begins with the sacrifice of little fruits of which she is very fond. She abstains from eating them, and each day brings them, with rice and all sorts of vegetables, to the house Brahman as an offering. She fasts in the morning and presents her offering to the guru when he visits the house; he partakes of it and gives her back a small portion which she reverently eats. She continues to fast until evening, and then she is again permitted to cook and to eat. On each of his visits, the guru tells the mother a mythical tale of a woman who sacrificed everything and thence derived the strength to accomplish all things; silent and attentive, holding holy grass in her folded hands, the woman listens, takes in his words and turns them over in her heart.
Each year a new and more precious fruit serves as the symbol at the center of this observance. The sacrifice advances from fruits to metals, from iron to copper, bronze, and finally to gold. These are the metals of which a woman's ornaments are fashioned. This means no doubt that the woman sacrifices her ornaments, or at least some of them, for her jewels and cloth- ing are the only personal possessions to which she attaches importance. But objects specially made of the same metals for this purpose may be used to symbolize her ornaments.
The last, extreme stage of the sacrifice is a total fast: the woman presents fresh coconut milk to the guru and must then go thirsty all day. Brahmans, relatives, and household attend this ceremony, representing the world to which the son must be given. At the end of the rite, twelve Brahmans and a few beggars belonging to the fifth caste, or "untouchables," are given cere- monial food: the highest and lowest caste, the summit and base of the social pyramid, symbolize the whole social world for which the matured boy must leave his home and sever his maternal bonds. A relative of the male line must also attend to represent the aspect of the world which is most involved in the mother's sacrifice of her son. At the end of the ceremony, the guru declares that the mother is ready to perform the act of giving her son to the world. And then, silently and inwardly, she completes the sacrifice of her life's fruit.
In Heinrich Zimmer, Spiritual Disciplines, 1948.