This series brings together a group of artists whose hybrid practices incorporate craft and performance. Numerous recent craft projects and exhibitions have emphasized the ways that craft can be used to build community (either as a political tool or as a relational project). In contrast, the projects in this series use the performance of traditional craft activities like knitting and weaving to address ideas of competition and self-interest or to place their creators in a position of advantage. The projects in this series all involve the live creation of new craft works, and thus reveal links between the repetitive and time-consuming actions of crafting and durational performance art practices. Taken together, these performances provide a means to rethink relationships between craft, domesticity, traditional gender roles, and distinctions between the private and public spheres.
A publication accompanying this exhibition, featuring an extended curatorial text “Crafty Advantage: Craft, Performance, and Competition,” was published by M:ST in 2011, and a journal article “Craft Off: Performance, Competition, and Anti-Social Crafting/Performance, compétition et métiers d’art asociaux” was published in the Cahiers métiers d’art/ Craft Journal, Volume 5 Number 2 Spring 2012.
Reviewed by Dick Averns for Akimbo, Oct 11, 2010.