Over the last decade, numerous contemporary artists have begun to explore the textile medium, and at the same time the art world has revived the legacy of earlier creators who have been using it consistently throughout their careers. This medium has several qualities that make it quite unique, facilitating its specificity as well as its constant interrelation with other disciplines. The hybrid nature of textile art, traditionally associated with female cultural production, forces us to situate ourselves in a scenario rife with meaning, acknowledging itsaesthetic but also its anthropological, political and colonial connotations.
This exhibition is the latest in a string of international shows on textile creation: some, such as Textiles: Open Letter (Museum Abteiberg, 2013), have sought to establish a certain genealogical kinship with contemporary art, while others, like Taking a Thread for a Walk (MoMA, 2019), have used this medium as a common narrative theme linking different works in a collection.
What sets the show at the CAAC in Seville apart from the rest is the place where it is held, striking up a dialogue between the exhibition spaces, with their richly sedimented history, and a medium which is also a product of countless intersectingand overlapping layers. The Monumental Zone of the former Carthusian monastery, where Columbus was buried and to which he donated his library, was related to the process of European colonial expansion. Its subsequent industrial use as a porcelain factory was linked to the rise of globalized capitalism in the 19th century. And, finally, over the last 30 years it has attempted to establish a critical dialogue with history from the present as a contemporary art museum.
Hoping to reveal new layers of meaning in an already heavily signified context, this exhibition sought out artists who routinely investigate textiles but also tend to favour installative formats, adding yet another creative medium to the mix and giving rise to a new place/work hybrid.
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