WHAT IS MADE BY HAND:
My entire story has been constructed (according to this principle) in these terms.
Craftsmanship because the “imperfection” inherent in the actions of man lends to objects an identity, surprise and poetry.
Whereas the always identical mechanical repetition of industrial production brings banality, ennui and desolation to our lives.
So this is what I have sought without choosing the path of the extreme luxury, haute couture or historical monuments
that maintain craftsmanship under a kind of perfusion or the overvalorization of the art market.
Without being so naive as to believe in Art for All, as art for all ultimately means industry,
I at least wanted to have art applied to everyday life. In Morocco I found a truly traditional work produced by anonymous craftsmen
who were nevertheless recognised and guided by the master craftsman (the maâlem).
But today I have the feeling that I am writing an obituary. Some of the products we sell were already very difficult to find,
but now they have to be withdrawn from the catalogue due to the lack of the men and women to produce them,
while others are endangered species.
Fear of dirtying their hands or their fake designer clothes? Our suppliers can no longer find anyone to work in their workshops!
There are also no more remote corners of this world where people consider themselves happy with their harsh living conditions
and do not want their children to study to become doctors.
When we can already see, in our more “civilized” worlds, that by virtue of discrediting manual jobs our system of values is creating
a sense of personal dissatisfaction in closed rooms in front of computer screens.
Online, we are connected to the world to the point of losing our minds,
but at the same time we have become so alienated from our own hands and body
that we flock to the gyms for physical activity as compensation for the loss.
Excerpt from « What is still hand-made » booklet 1 of the book
“Agnès Emery by Agnès Emery”