Competition 2021



A holographic Whitney Houston is just setting off on a European tour, and she is not the first pop idol resurrected to perform “live” again...  You can plan a holiday in space because in two years' time a hotel on orbit will be available for an exorbitant price of nearly $ 800,000 per day!

A brave new world? Is it really for us?

We, humans, are drowning in depression - in ten years' time depression will be the most common disease of mankind, although even today only 5% of the population are considered thoroughly healthy. Obesity kills three times as many people as famine, while death from exhaustion happens every second in the world, with half the food produced globally being wasted. In our civilized world, wars, attacks, assaults and massacres still pay off, and two out of five murdered women in the world are killed at home by their partner.

 Today, as the philosopher writes ominously, "we can only fear ourselves”1. 

 Even theocentrism and the Copernican Revolution have not cured us from selfishness, nor have they taught us humility in the face of nature’s greatness and the power of its elements. Living in a post-human reality shared with humanoid mutants, clones, cyborgs and hybrids, we still refuse to accept the crisis of anthropocentrism.

 In an era when machines are smarter than people and it is with them that we spend most of the day, when we irreversibly overgrow with plastic (it is deposited in our bodies and at the bottom of the oceans), when we are able to examine, produce and sell everything, we continue to argue about the humanity of the zygote, the primitive tribes, the coloured races, or finally the urban existence that isolates us from nature and the natural rhythm of day and night, replacing the bonds of neighbourhood with media-communities. We still need bodies, but aesthetic medicine and medical nanotechnologies, body art with Orlan and Stelarc at the forefront, body hacking and virtual reality evidence the fact that we are just crossing this immemorial border. We haven’t got rid of the reptile's brain, but we have gained a "smartphone thumb", we haven’t freed ourselves from animal instincts, but we get cybersex and adrenaline... in the cinema chair.

 Would the first cloned sheep Dolly or Alba (the fluorescent rabbit by Eduardo Kac) forgive us? And the lions, elephants and whales killed mindlessly on a whim, or dolphins, whom we defined as non-human persons in 2013, but still imprison, abuse and kill? Choosing the concrete jungle, the virtual world, swallowing synthetic dietary supplements, drinking nutritional drinks - are we as human as our ancestors? Turning away from other people and  towards ourselves in a selfie gesture – are we still human? Have we conquered the world or have we destroyed it?

Behind all this there are human beings... But are they still human?


1 Jolanta Brach-Czaina, Błony umysłu, Warsaw, Sic! Publishing House, 2003, p. 123 


About the Festival

For more than forty years, the Gallery of Art in Legnica has been specializing in the promotion of contemporary jewellery and artistic objects made mainly of silver. The Jewellery Festival SILVER is one of the most important events shaping the cultural life of the region and building its image on the international forum. Every year we organize individual and group exhibitions of Polish and international artists, publish exhibition catalogues, organize conferences and symposia, as well as jewellery shows, workshops, debates and concerts. The most important event we organize is Legnica International Jewellery Competition which has a different theme every year.

Festival editions