Kiff Slemmons Tag, You're It!

Karen Patinkin
Kiff Slemmons

Featuring the work of Kiff Slemmons with Ani Afshar, Mike Arnold, Catherine Bowyer, Penny Burns, Susann Craig, Trine Ellitsgaard, Aurélie Guillaume, Anne Hirondelle, Michael Kreis, Matt Lambert, Peter Landon, Cheryl Lavers, Keith Lewis, Pasha Moezzi, Alexis Myre, Peter Olsen, Karen Patinkin, Maria Phillips, Kimberly Rachal, Georgina Silver, Kiff Slemmons, Curtis Steiner, C. Thresher, Terry Turrell, Catherine Vandenbrink, and Patrick Wilkins.

Baby Dobbs, a great jazz drummer, once said, "I play for the benefit of the band." Perhaps the tag project is another way of saying this. It is a moment of play, of connection, of identity. We can see the individual, the reflection of the whole.

Kiff Slemmons

Tag, You’re It! explores how jewelry both identifies us and draws together our diversities. Readymade key tags ordinarily serve as a mundane means of identification, but here they are transformed by artists and jewelers into necklaces whose visual language ranges from highly refined to spontaneously gestural. The tags represent a cultural moment where such languages display identities of a different sort.

Over 20 years ago, Slemmons created a series of necklaces composed of 100 key tags. Each tag was marked by her fingerprints, making them her “signature” works, while extending the idea of “more than one to make one”.

“Always jewelry is about connection,” Slemmons says, “and in this dark moment, revisiting the tags served to connect artists and friends through their marks on 100 tags. Here, individual identities emerge through visual language and connect to others through their common form.”

When the necklaces are worn, they move with you, with their own soundtrack, urging you to dance in these uncertain times—and when in the hand, they disclose beauty, humor, even wonder. All are part of the notion that it takes more than one to make one: the power of the fragment on its own and in its capacity as part of a whole.

Alexis Myre
Aurélie Guillaume
Curtis Steiner