Q du diable/Devil’s Q (Bottom), 2009
Sophie Hanagarth is a Swiss jeweller, who also teaches at the School of Decorative Arts in Strasbourg. She draws her inspiration from folklore, dusty ethnographical museums, chapels well off the beaten track, and forgotten traditions. Her know-how is imbued with old techniques which she rehabilitates – leather weaving, iron forging – just as she revives scrap and cast-off materials, such as tin and tin-plate. She also enjoys hijacking the way certain tools are used, such as upholstery nails.
We know her first for her jewellery with its evocative titles, Sein (Breast), 6e doigt (6th Finger), Bijoux de famille (Family Jewels), which duplicate the part of the body on which the work is placed. Carrying on along the line of anthropomorphism, she then produced Traquenards (Traps), jaw bracelets which are clamped around the wrist, and Lippes (Bottom Lips), voracious mouths swallowing a finger, as well as Médailles merdeuses (Shitty Metals), laughing at conventions and good manners.
Has Devil’s Q (Bottom) ever been used, this whip made of woven leather neatly coiled around the neck? It has become a piece of attire, having forgotten its other possible uses. In 2015 it was shown in the exhibition Nirvana, Strange Forms of Pleasure.