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Open Lecture Series: Textiles

La Villa, 2017-2022 Vue de l'exposition Splendid Isolation, S.M.A.K., Ghent, Belgique, Dimension Variable - Production La Villa du Parc, Centre d’art contemporain, Photo credit: Dirk Pauwels

What is the relationship between textiles and artistic practice? Learn aboutthe material itself, its usage within contemporary art and its various art historical and socio-political connotations. In a series of four lectures, Axel Andersson (Senior Lecturer in Art History) and Natasha Marie Llorens (Professor in Art Theory) will present two lectures teasing out the relevance of textile to art.

Shrouds, Rags and Diapers: Textile Materiality from the Sacred to the Profane in Art History

Pt 1 with Axel Andersson: Tuesday, January 31st 16:30-18:30, Hus28
Pt 2 with Axel Andersson: Tuesday, February 14th 16:30-18:30, Hus28

Textile is more often than not an intimate affair: taking its place in between human bodies. Of all the art forms it is the one that we are most likely to wear, close to our skin. Even in the form of cordage (like ropes) its function in to connect, also semantically (as in the Quipus-writing of the Andes). We collect corporeal effluvia in textiles, and communicate, twine and weave the social into existence with them. A materiality lending itself to the impossible coming-together of the most common, and the most elevated. The humble rag for wiping a bottom, used in the 1970s feminist institutional care of Mierle Laderman Ukeles, is related to the Lapis lazuli cloak on one of Raphael’s Madonnas. In a series of two lectures, Axel Andersson, approaches the theme of textiles in the history of art through a reading of it as an open “schizo-materiality” that refuses to let itself be understood as autonomous or conceptually pre-determined.

Figure and Ground: An Overview of Textile Materiality in Contemporary Art 

Abstraction with Natasha Marie Llorens: Tuesday, February 7th 16:30-18:30, Hus28
Figuration with Natasha Marie Llorens: Tuesday, February 21st 16:30-18:30, Hus28

The use of textiles in fine art has long been entangled with craft history, with the material cultures of the working classes and rural communities. Artists who work with textiles have often either come from or borrowed from indigenous communities, and claimed feminist and queer working methodologies openly. Natasha Marie Llorens will present two lectures that give a broad overview of these material and discursive entanglements in the work of contemporary artists. She will  draw on the work of art historians T’ai Smith and Julia Bryan-Wilson and gender studies theorist Eve Sedgewick. The first lecture will focus on abstraction and will consider the work of Anna Betbeze, Eric Mack, Solange Pessoa, Adrian Vescovi, Helen Mirra, Ayan Farah, Rosemarie Trockel, and N. Dash, among others. The second will address figuration, both that which is woven into an artwork’s surface or made into a volume; it will take as its starting point the work of Hannah Ryggen, Diedrick Brackens, Jagdeep Raina, Mike Kelly, Afra Eisma, Sarah Lucas, Cecilia Vicuña and Sophy Naess