Foreshadow

Photographed by Marco Giuliano.

In the midst of life's unfolding paths, there often comes a hint of things to come ahead, a glimpse of light that guides us through the darkest night. Photographed by Marco Giuliano, styled by Anca Macavei featuring timeless objects by Xanagore.

I noticed that you don’t describe yourself as a jewelry label but rather as a somehow “object lab” that explores transfiguration in human beings, substances, and the relations between the two. Can you expand a little on your worldview as creators and designers?
By being immersed in the workshop I usually work in, I have been able to see the importance of being close to the production processes. It is an opportunity that our profession offers us. There we find similarities, answers, and we can expand our vision of the world. Understanding the material and its behaviour helps the process by being more organic, less forced. Once you work on it, the way it’s supposed to, it gives and instead of the material working for you, it works with you. Like a guide, which it is telling you what the most convenient approach is to get the piece you want.
It is a constant listening to the world from another place. I think there is a responsibility to share with the world the world that one sees. This process can inspire a more just or kinder society at least. Currently, given the design and production processes, there has been a loss of approach to observing and getting close to the transformation of matter. I find it a pity to lose direct work with it, since I believe that creators have the sensitivity to touch these other places that expand the ways in which we are in the world. Defining XAN as a jewellery brand limits me in the possibilities of exploration that I have. That is why when using the word ‘object,’ I try to expand the scope of research topics that interest me such as pause, silence, contemplation, and play.”

Where does your passion for investigating the relationship between an object and an individual come from?
When I was little, I remember destroying objects – burning rulers, cutting up combs, painting and repainting the walls of the parking lot of my house. This led me to develop an awareness of the potential for transformation. There can be pain, but also joy, poverty and abundance, destruction and creation. The idea of a constant transformation led me to want to observe and understand my own transformation in the different stages I go through, perhaps in a search for meaning in my existence. This curiosity led me to study industrial design, where I could expand my vision of the things around me, but I always felt that the design processes I learned limited me due to their need for perfection. -Jewellery and sculpture are spaces that allow me to play in wider boundaries. The way an object acts organically at a certain moment can show us how to position ourselves in the world (since the object does not have a thought process, it simply exists). The exercise of contemplating an object in its environment requires an energy that is not so common nowadays. I would like my objects to be a motive for doing so, since we are increasingly oversaturated with information, moments of pause have become short or obsolete in people’s lives, stopping in everyday life is a luxury. It is a task that involves pause, silence of the mind, suspension of activities, and it is not about forcibly finding meaning, we simply need to observe and feel, involving ourselves intimately with it. Then we can use the object as a mirror. Objects (not all of them) help me connect with the world, and the passion for investigating them is more of a desire to know myself.

Your design approach is often embracing impermanence and natural shapes and textures. Who or what are your main inspirations?
I began to investigate different philosophies that contrasted with the way I reacted to the suffering caused by changing forms. The Chinese idea that speaks about what lasts or persists is dead, and that vitality is rather shown in the strength of transformation and change, gave me another vision in terms of what I learned or how we act in the Western world. That is why I let my creative processes be as transformative and free as possible. Essays like “Water and Dreams” from Gaston Bachelard have given me clues on how to approach matter through a more poetic form. Regarding the use of shapes and technology, I admire the work of Iris Van Herpen, the constellation of shapes in Arje Griegst’s sea, the philosophy behind Eduardo Chillida and his way of creating concepts such as silence through sculpture, the curves applied in Noguchi’s materials. I always imagine Art Smith’s pieces as a song and the spectacular work of French jeweler Jean Vendome and his way of integrating complex materials into a single object in a harmonious way.

Similar to your perceptions of transformation, so is your work, an ongoing flow process rather than exact adherence to an initial plan. How would you describe your working methods and beliefs?
Initially, I used to create from a fixed idea or design, pushing strongly to convey something through it. This discourse made me feel that the pieces did not come from me, but rather, I was translating someone else’s idea. I have realised while doing more pieces that the process brings me more joy rather than making a statement about something. This brings up questions for me about whether objects must serve a function or can they just exist. Jewelry can be useless objects or objects loaded with symbols and meanings, they navigate this duality. In having a lack of meaning and existing on the body, without being anything, they transform and mold themselves to each body, in each space they adapt. When they appear as symbols, they help us create links between people or with the jewellery itself. When I have a concept that I want to investigate, I like to nourish myself through my senses and then begin to refine it through getting into silence, and that is where forms usually emerge, often in visions. Sometimes I simply play with the resources I have, and other times I use a meditation method called unification. When I do this, I feel that things don’t come from a mechanised mental process, but from an emptier place. Then I bring them to paper and eventually to production, where they will very likely change completely. By allowing for constant transformation, I have encountered problems in my process when I must stop. In Mexico, we have an expression called “duro y dale,” which means we are constantly pushing something. When I am working on a piece, I am often “duro y dale, duro y dale,” this infinite stubbornness makes it last a long time in the pieces. Fortunately, there is always someone who tells me to stop or the object itself breaks, ending the cycle.

How would you describe the target audience to which you aim your products?
Anyone, really. I would like my products to exist in different environments. When someone asks me what a form means, I often ask them back, “What does it mean to you?” and their imagination starts to fly, saying it’s a sea, lava, etc.

▶ Play video

Foreshadow

Credits:

Photography/Video: Marco Giuliano / @marcogiulianoph
Styling: Anca Macavei / @ancamacavei
Jewellery: Xanagore / @x.anagore
Design pieces: Situer Milano / @situer_milano
Interview: Yasmin Krauskopf / @yasmin_skn
Assistants: Alice Lipizzi, Fee-Marie Loebel / @strafiko @feetasticcc
Video Soundtrack: Polkavant – Selenauta
Model: Ksenia Lifanova at Elite Models / @kksenialifanova_ @elitemodelworld

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