Illustration – Emmanuelle Duparchy, Paris
I do not believe in the magical virtues of ex-voto (I mean the wishful, not the grateful kind of ex-votos). I am, however, interested in how they operate:
Their point is not to replicate, but to suggest the limb they hope to save. Their failure to evolve beyond the anatomically sketchy consistently disappoints: they are never delicate –
Their existence is temporary and should not last longer than our wish to get better soon: as soon as we put them in circulation, we anticipate their end (let it be quick!) –
They would be quite pointless, if they did not copy (badly) a body part: they are meaningful precisely because they are redundant.
In short, their defining traits – botchy, undesirable and superfluous – make them a tough sell.
And yet: whatever is anachronistic about them (the belief that things can operate change) is also the reason why I (we?) create jewellery.
Good enough reasons, I thought, to promote their return.
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