Day: Thursday 5 April


Mechthild Fend (UCL History of Art)
Anne Lafont (Directrice d’études, Ecole des Hautes Etudes en Sciences Sociales, Paris (EHESS)

Session Abstract

Technologies associated with textile production – such as weaving, knitting, spinning, embroidering or dyeing – have often served as models for processes of art making and colouring. Painting and weaving have been aligned since antiquity, and artists drew, in their paintings and graphic work, comparisons between weaving and assembling brush strokes or between spinning and drawing lines.

This session will newly explore such associations of textile production with artistic processes by joining them with recent theorisations of ‘Textility’ (Victoria Mitchell), the ‘Textility of making’ (Tim Ingold) or with approaches that ‘look for the traces of the process that generated the work’ (Jean-Paul Leclercq). At the same, it will reconnect with earlier feminist approaches to textiles and textile production (eg Rozsika Parker) that aimed to destabilise traditional hierarchies of media by highlighting not only women’s involvement in textile production but also the paradigmatic character of techniques such as weaving.

The session is also interested in the way in which crafted fabrics serve as models for the human body, be it in the use of metaphors like ‘tissue’ or the association of dyes and body colour. Papers engage with art theory or art practices and forms of fabrication (including, but not restricted to, textiles) that mobilise and reflect ‘textility’ as a theoretical proposition. This panel is ‘looking out’ as it engages with interdisciplinary methodologies and encourages global perspectives on fabrics and their fabrication as models for thinking about practices of making.

Speakers & Papers

Sadie Harrison (PhD candidate, UCL Science and Technology Studies) Textility and the Experience of Nature in 18th Century Women’s Practices

Chonja Lee (PhD candidate, Institut für Kunstgeschichte, Bern University) Impression/Oppression: Indiennes challeging the paradigm of textility

Courtney Wilder (PhD Candidate, The University of Michigan, History of Art) The Fingerprint of the Machine, Mercurial Textility, and Printed Dress Fabrics, 1815–51

Marcia Pointon (Professor Emerita in History of Art, London) Ragged and Unravelled

Michele Avis Feder-Nadoff (Independent artist and anthropologist) How Hammers Weave: Copper-smithing in Santa Clara del Cobre

Mei Mei Rado (Parsons School of Design, New York) Light as Textility: Fashioning lamé in the 1910s and 1920s

Shir Aloni Yaari (The Hebrew University of Jerusalem) The ‘Subversive Stitches’ of Anne Wilson, Tabitha Moses, and Jessica Lagunas

Morag Feeney-Beaton (Independent Scholar; Royal Opera House, London) The Rhythm of Making Made Tangible: Aspects of the relationship between spinning, weaving and the human body

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