The Textile Museum of Canada virtually hosted Nicole Burisch, Assistant Curator of Contemporary Art at the National Gallery of Canada, Sarah Quinton, Senior Curator at the Textile Museum of Canada and artist Anna Torma, whose solo exhibition Permanent Danger is on view at the Textile Museum of Canada until March 20, 2021.
About the panelists: Anna Torma has been producing large-scale hand embroidered wall hangings and collages since graduating with a degree in Textile Art and Design from the Hungarian University of Applied Arts, Budapest, in 1979. She immigrated to Canada in 1988 and now lives in Baie Verte, New Brunswick. Torma is the recipient of the 2020 Governor General’s Award in Visual and Media Arts – Saidye Bronfman Award, and is a member of the Royal Canadian Academy of Arts. She is also a recipient of the New Brunswick Lieutenant-Governor’s Award for High Achievement in Visual Arts, and the Strathbutler Award from the Sheila Hugh Mackay Foundation.
Sarah Quinton is the Curatorial Director of the Textile Museum of Canada and is curator of Permanent Danger. Her curatorial practice focuses on intersections between contemporary textiles and sculpture, photography, design, and site-specific installations.
The Craft as Contemporary Art residency took place from November 04 – December 06, 2019 and brought together a group of artists to explore what it means to create art using materials and processes associated with practices of craft. Contemporary art continues to make room for and popularize ceramics, textiles, hand-making, decoration and materiality. This program investigated how these disciplines and approaches are being activated and considered the ideas craft is being asked to communicate.
The Ladies’ Invitational Deadbeat Society (LIDS) was founded in 2006 as a closely-knit affiliation of then-unemployed cultural workers, not working, but still bustin’ ass within Alberta artist-run culture. Their activities made visible and politicized women’s roles in the arts economy through tactical laziness, crafty collaboration, over-performance, and wild hilarity. They announced their intentions to DO LESS in a series of works produced between 2012 and 2014, and to completely withdraw from art-making at the Calgary Biennial 2015. After a decade of non-activity, they officially called in quits in 2016. LIDS was Anthea Black, Nicole Burisch, and Wednesday Lupypciw.
An archive of projects can be found on the LIDS site.
I’m headed to Sackville, NB from the 24th to the 27th of October to participate in A Handmade Assembly. I’ll be moderating the opening round table at 7:30pm on the 24th (with Ryan Statz, Allyson Mitchell, and Paula Jean Cowan) and giving an artist talk at 11am on the 25th.
Organized by Struts Gallery & Faucet Media Arts Centre with the Owens Art Gallery and Thunder & Lightning Ltd, A Handmade Assembly invites artists, curators and others from the region and away to lead discussions, facilitate workshops, initiate projects, open exhibitions, and share in a common thread, the handmade.
“In Craft Hard Die Free: Radical Curatorial Strategies for Craftivism, Anthea Black and Nicole Burisch provide a brief international survey of activities which seek to deploy craft for the purposes of protest. Knitting, and other textile arts traditionally associated with communal crafting, plays the leading role. The concept of the ‘revolutionary knitting circle’ recalls the 1970s feminist use of a similar group exchange as a form of consciousness raising. Black and Burisch also cite the AIDS Quilt project of the 1980s as an important precursor for the present moment. So much for precedents, what about the future? Clearly, efficacy and identity are interwoven in this essay, which takes for granted another 70s concept–that the personal is political–and offers real-world strategies for [maintaining] the efficacy of symbolic craft. It is too early to say whether craftivism will have staying power in the cultural imagination, like the Arts and Crafts, studio and countercultural craft movements before it. But there is little doubt that Black, Burisch and their peers have breathed new life into this old set of ideas.”
-Glenn Adamson, The Craft Reader
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.
Wednesday Lupypciw, The Ladies 500 Metre Challenge
Wednesday Lupypciw, The Ladies 500 Metre Challenge (detail)
Suzen Green and Ryan Statz, How To Look For Work in the Big City
David McCallum and Dory Kornfeld, Sticks and Stones (detail)