One can easily see in an object a transformation of life into matter, and in a word a silence which belongs to the realm of fairy-tales. [Roland Barthes, Mythologies].

In 2018 in Brussels, with the participation of Belgian conceptual art collector Herman Daled, whose collection now belongs to the MoMA New York, I created what was to become a piece of jewellery without realising it.

Daled was known for not having any art hanging on the walls of his house, preferring to exhibit the work only long enough to take a look at it. The only thing to be seen on his walls was a multitude of nails. I came up with the idea of creating a silver edition from one of these nails. Herman was a radiologist and in the photographic process it is silver that forms the negative image. Daled was very amused by this and the nail was produced immediately.

The story should have ended there, but after Herman's death, as part of a tribute in the Cahiers van de Velde, fashion designer Martin Margiela recounted one of their meetings: The stripped wall of the dining room was strewn with small nails. As I asked why, Herman removed one. "This one is silver," he said, putting it in my hand. "Why, it's like a beautiful piece of jewellery," I replied.

Then, to the surprised looks of my friends, I pinned it into the weave of Marit's jumper. She was delighted by the gesture and said to me "I rarely wear jewellery, but this makes me want to wear it". Margiela's simple gesture led us to understand the need to see jewellery not as an ornament but as a unique story told by an artist. An urge to consider reality as a record and to use the intimate as a means of expression.

The desire to found a publishing house of artists' jewellery was born.
Today we are very pleased to present the first Maison Commun collection designed by Martin Belou, Guillaume Bleret, Kasper Bosmans, Simona Denicolai, and Arnaud Eubelen.

In our society, our relationship to objects is obvious, even mythological as Barthes would say. But today I can't help thinking that our relationship to places is also sometimes a matter of providence.

It all started in Herman Daled's house, built by the architect Henry van de Velde and commissioned by the Brussels jewellers, Wolfers frères. With this first launch at Saint Martin Bookshop, which was formerly Maison Martin Margiela, it would seem that the circle has been closed.
Patrick Carpentier

Maison Commun is a publishing house founded by artist, curator, and publisher Patrick Carpentier and graphic designer Isabel Debry.