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"politics" Tag


Textile writer Tania Candiani


Tuesday, November 25, 2014

 

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Tania Candiani, Woman, Mexican, 1974, Textile, Language, Artist …

 

Tania Candiani was part of the exhibition“ The future of fashion is now”, in Rotterdam. In this show, designers and artists try to show some different and new ways to see to the fashion world.

Tania Candiani exposes a big roll of fabric joined with some clothes and dresses. The finality of this work is an installation with fabrics, thread, metal hooks, sound and video. This work was showed almost at the end of the exhibition, a space that, according to me, didn’t support it as much as it could have. Therefore, all my attention wasn’t driven towards the installation as a whole, but only on this big role of fabric.

The title “ La Constancia Dormida “, which stands for Constancia Asleep, makes me think of the collections of stories, including Constancia, y otras novelas para vírgenes (1989; Constancia and Other Stories for Virgins) by the Mexican novelist and short story writer Carlos Fuentes. The theme of these stories, which is about the people and culture from Mexico City, is maybe a influence in Tania’s work.

The role of fabric, that I mentioned before, was exposed on a table and stitched with text. The language used was Spanish and it was about thoughts, feelings and stories of one certain group of people or community, that were influenced by their economic, political and social environment. This context situates her work in the last of the four themes which divided the exhibition: “Fashion Activism: Community and Politics”.

Being influenced by the reaction of these people, she used them as her subject for her story-telling. The textile is then used as a narrative tool as she explains it in one of her statement: “ My research processes take as starting point language, text, the political implications of the domestic, of what is public and private, and of “the others.”

“Translate strategies amongst systems –linguistic, visual, phonic– and practices, generates equivalences and associations (…) textiles have been present in my work as tailoring, as a narrative resource and as labor, socially embedded with meaning. Tailoring as design is a contact point with architecture, where the space distribution of the plans as sewing patterns re-signifying the idea of inhabited space or the utopia of an space that could be inhabited“.

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Tania Candiani – Artslant

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Tania Candiani – Lot 88

I chose Tania’s work because I really like the simple and minimalist way she approaches two big ideas, in one hand the fashion world and in the other one, a more conceptual idea about community in a political and economical environment. Also, the way she uses textile and combines it with text gives me a big and strong feeling of nostalgia. The way she characterizes the political and human energy really fascinates me and awoke my curiosity. This feeling of nostalgia that is present in her work, makes me land back directly to my home country. This nostalgia and spirit of story telling is something that characterizes the Portuguese personality and community, bringing me even more closer to her work.

By listening to the people in different environments, Tania tries to save the stories and the atmosphere into the fabric by sewing it, and giving it an individual perspective. Through this act of sewing, I see Tania’s work as a memorial where she keeps all the moments and happenings, as a saving for the future, which for me is a really beautiful act. The act of sewing, reminds me of a scar or a tattoo that Tania is stitching in the fabric. By expressing these left marks, it connects us to our individual or common marks, which originates from situations and memories that we experienced. These marks which makes us the person or the people that we became. So it’s like creating and materializing all the spirit, thoughts and feelings from a specific and certain place, time and community.

 

This way of making art reminds me also of some works, for example, Louise Bourgeois, Tracey Emin and in the traditional bordering from Portugal.

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Louise Bourgeois

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 Tracey Emin

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https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G3abn6dfR2k

By having this in mind, I realize that textile can be really strong, powerful and expressive as a subject or a material. It was interesting to see how her work can become, in a way fashion but still textile with a sculptural character. It questioned the fashion world and trying to find or to create this small limit between fashion and textile, becoming in the end something else. Different than the world of fashion that we know now, but still an expressive future form of fashion. This makes her piece relevant, for me, in taking part of this exhibition “ The future of fashion is now “.

 

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Thoughts on Lucy + Jorge Orta


Friday, November 21, 2014

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Nexus Architecture

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The Human Centipede (2)

 

At the Boijmans Van Beuningen’s The Future of Fashion is Now (Fashion, Activism, Community and Politics), Lucy + Jorge Orta showed their work Nexus Architecture x 25 – Nexus Type Opera.tion. In Nexus Architecture (2001) they zip together the clothes of a group of volunteers. The idea is to depict the loss of individuality in a cluster of social relationships. We are all connected; “Each individual keeps an eye on, and protects, the other. One individual’s life depends on the life of the other. The warmth of one gives warmth to the other. The physical link weaves a social link.” I refer Nexus Architecture to the horror film The Human Centipede by Tom Six. ‘’A mad scientist kidnaps and mutilates a group of people in order to reassemble them into a human centipede, created by stitching their mouths to each others’ rectums.’’ The victims basically have to wear each other to survive, of course an extreme version of “Each individual keeps an eye on, and protects, the other. One individual’s life depends on the life of the other. The warmth of one gives warmth to the other. The physical link weaves a social link’’.

 

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Nexus (which means link or tie) Architecture is a symbolic work which I find to be a shame as there are examples of functioning clothes which actually do realize bond and equality, for example school uniforms. I wore a school uniform as a child and my experience was that wearing a uniform built team spirit and unified. Also prevented the pressure of having to have status symbols such as branded clothes and thereby made the economical differences less visible in school. However I did feel a lack of freedom to express myself. Other areas where uniforms are used is for example in the military, prison, finance and sports. The idea is that if you are wearing the same uniform you are friends and you help each other. But even if we wear the same fabric and colors we are not always friends and we do not always help each other. To tell how the world works Orta metaphorically connected the uniforms physically (what happens to me will happen to you) which automatically also becomes literal. The work is executed in a bold and direct way which I do admire. The doubts I have about the work not being applied to people in a direct (functioning) way may depend on the way it is presented…

 

At Boijmans Van Beuningen’s Nexus Architecture was presented as an installation. But during performances, Orta gives the participants commands, setting the whole group in motion, ‘’emphasizing the loss of humanity within the collective’’. Depending on the participants engagement in following the task it can either be or not be a working organism. I believe that Orta is not making a political statement but rather questioning the political ideology of today and the future. Maybe the importance of both communism and capitalism, the group and the individual.

 

In general I was fascinated by the room of Activism, Community and Politics in the The Future of Fashion is Now exhibition because I respect artists like Orta who try to break down and deal with these large and relevant questions. I have to make 10 designs on the subject Ebola for design class which is a subject far from my control, and to me it is a motivation to see how Orta can manage similar matters. Orta has an optimistic approach in both content and aesthetic. But I can not help but question if the work of Orta maybe is too playful? I feel slightly split about the fact that world issues are ”anesthetized” when artists take them on. As the beauty overshadows the message but at the same time maybe this is necessary when wanting to communicate to the western world. It is a paradox. In any case I think that it is couregous to deal with such serious matters. Later on one can argue if a work is successful or not, if the artist does harm or good. I may be cynical but it is hard for me to understand the motive of why Orta has cared for the complex of global problems such as the ecological environment/global warming, sexism, refuge and immigration policy, the hostility towards the Romani people, the biomedical ethics of organ donation and homelessness as these subjects differ so much from each other. But then again it is arguable that a team of two artists do not share the same mind and therefore bring different issues to the table. Anyway Orta has surely succeeded in raising some of  the spectators awareness or opinion as I have just written a text about this.


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