21 GRAM EXHIBITION AT THE CRAFTS MUSEUM OF THE CHINA ACADEMY OF ART HANGZHOU
7 nov. – 10 dec. 2018
On 10 April 1901, an unusual experiment was conducted in Dorchester,
Massachusetts. Dr. Duncan MacDougall attempted to prove that the human soul had
physical mass, and was therefore, measurable.
Dr. MacDougall conducted this experiment on six dying patients who were placed on
specially made Fairbanks weight scales just prior to their deaths. Dr. MacDougall’s
intention was to weigh each body before and after death to determine any differences
measured by the delicate scales. The patients were selected based upon their
imminent death. Two patients were suffering from tuberculosis, 5 were men and one
was a woman. Based on the fact that he could prove that 1 patient lost 21 grams
directly after the moment of dying, MacDougall published his hypothesis that the
human soul has a physical weight of “21 grams”
The weight of “21 grams” is a mysterious concept, both imaginative and literally.
The idea has inspired film makers, song writers, fine artists, novelists, and
documentary makers, but until today no jewellery makers. With this exhibition Ruudt Peters want
to challenge jewelry makers to create a new work of art, especially made for this
show, that translates the idea of the soul in a physical object that weighs no more
than “21 grams”
Under the title “21 grams”
Equal number of Western and Eastern artists to take part at the exhibition. It would be interesting to see how east and west artist imagine the soul.
The installation of the art works is an important part of the concept. All at all
“21 grams” jewelry /objects are presented on scales. This is also to verify
whether an artist has succeeded to match the weight of the soul “21 grams”
The exhibition “21 grams” will be organized by the Chinese Academy of Art in
Hangzhou China and shown on different locations in the world, we are in discussion
with the following institutes:
China Academy of Art Hangzhou China
Material: steel gold plated, silk
‘Where do I look for inspiration when it comes to soul?’ I asked myself. The answer came as fast as the question itself. Inspiration is where my soul thrives most, where I can let go of everything and everyone, and most of all, of myself. Breathing, moving, feeling the wind on my skin. Tuning in, breaking out. Seeing everything as if it were for the first time. All that happens when I dance. Dance is when I’m closest to my soul.
In this brooch, I refer to the layers that are peeled off when I get this close to my soul. I painted eyes on every layer, referring both to all the different souls living on planet earth and the eyes being a mirror of the soul. Together, those layers that are made of transparent silk, form a tiny little booklet that gently reveals the story of our lives. The booklet is a hemisphere and is a universe in itself, just like our eyes. And like our souls, this brooch is moving, constantly and endlessly, like a dance.