The exhibition Textile Subtexts is part of a research project that takes an interest in divergent meanings of the textile, material culture and how it manifests itself in a work of art or in an artist’s practice. The project is curated by and a collaboration between Bella Rune, artist and Professor of Textiles at Konstfack, the University College of Arts, Craft and Design, Stockholm and Helena Selder, curator at Marabouparken Art Gallery.
Textile Subtexts takes its starting point in the “liberation” of textiles in the 1960s in Sweden. From here the investigation moves back and forward in time to pose questions on the role played by textiles in artistic practices and times. The moment of “liberation” is represented by, among others, Margareta Hallek, whose work is presented in a separate gallery, where we can follow the artist’s playful and experimental practice from the 1960s to the 1990s.
The exhibition brings together Swedish artists from several generations, including Hannah Ryggen (b. 1894) to Josefin Gäfvert (b. 1988), whose works activate various layers of the “textile subtext”. Some of these subtexts are visualised in the exhibition’s thematic “balls of yarn”, which are unravelled to create associations between artistic practices and works, presented in an exhibition architecture comprising walls constructed of safety and sports nets, dividing the space, exposing the reverse of the works, separating and connecting them.
Of particular relevance is “the history of women’s art ball of yarn”. It was largely female practitioners who, despite limited room for manoeuvre, not only renewed textile art in the 20th century, but also politicised and introduced textiles as an artistic material. Textiles’ connection to decorative art and everyday, domestic, “low” materials and techniques such as knitting, tapestry, embroidery and appliqué (a forerunner of collage and assemblage) was exploited as a component of feminist critique and politics.
The different themes of the exhibition overlap one another. The textile narrative in the form of abstractions and patterns gets tangled up with textiles as commodity, software and system builder. Textiles’ plasticity and need for support are exploited in new sculptural expressions and performances while also providing them with an emotional register – all of this becomes meaningful as an act of resistance in a more anti-hierarchical, playful and ambiguous art world from the 1960s until today.
Seminars in conjunction with the exhibition
October 5 at 6pm:Panel discussion Textile Emancipation. Moderator: Annika Öhrner. Participants: Gunilla Lundahl writer, Patrik Steorn Director Thielska Art Gallery, Johanna Rosenqvist associate professor at Konstfack, Bella Rune Professor at Konstfack. Held in Swedish.
October 26 at 6pm: Lecture with T’ai Smith. The lecture will be held in English.
November 9 at 6pm: Following the song’s threads: From traditional textiles to new technologies, Artist Lecture by Paola Torres Núñez del Prado. The lecture will be held in English.
November 16 at 6pm: Molas. Lecture and Workshop with Tomas Woodski. RSVP by firstname.lastname@example.org.
November 23 at 6pm: Lecture with Michael Barrett and Matt Smith. The lecture will be held in English.
November 30 at 6pm: Lecture with Tom Sandqvist about his book Born in a Shtetl and Sonia Delaunay.
All seminars are included in the admission 50sek.
The exhibition is accompanied by a programme of discussions and lectures as well as a collaboration with students from Konstfack, the University College of Arts Craft and Design, Stockholm and St. Martins Design Gymnasium, Sundbyberg.
Lennart och Margareta Rodhes Konstvetenskapliga Stiftelse
Malmö Art Museum
Det Nya Museet