ACTIVE TEXTURE - between Text and Textile
Anke Becker, Kerstin Brätsch, Matthew Cowan, Vanessa Enríquez, Nadine Fecht, Jeanno Gaussi, Gregor Hildebrandt, DAS INSTITUT, Leon Manoloudakis, Raul Walch, ZIERVOGEL, Michaela Zimmer
XC.HuA is delighted to present, ACTIVE TEXTURE, a group exhibition featuring esteemed Berlin-based artists and others originally from Berlin.
T E X T – these four letters constitute the core concept of this exhibition. Text traces back to the Latin term texere which signifies to weave and plait. In this manner the technical activity of craftsmanship with haptic materials is equated with the mental activity of connecting and expressing meaning – to release it into a lingual system, however rudimentary or elaborate this system of sounds and signs may be. This process of weaving a new matter of thoughts from the inner mental world into the perceptive physical outside culminates in a very fertile moment. In this significant moment ideas are inscribed into the physical world. A transfer of sorts commences, from idea to material and from the mind of an individual to the shared reality of numerous other people. This transfer is communication. As soon as the idea has materialised, the world starts to influence its substance. The world manipulates the substance, it leaves traces on the substance and it destroys the substance. A circle of cause and effect ensues; communication continually goes on.
The resulting matrices of letters, here designated as text and the handcrafted matrices of threads, here designated as textile, are linked to each other in many ways.
Firstly, both of them show a specific texture, which means a specific structure, a specific surface, a specific kind of rhythm and pattern. The texture not only sets the visual and tactile approach of the webbing, but also allows manifold conclusions concerning the character, the originator, the meaning and the cultural classification. From this perspective not only the text speaks, but also the textile expresses much about its purpose, its origins and its representation of social conditions. So, beside the practical use, textiles become much more, especially when conceived as a work of art. It tells personal stories about work, style, class, region and fate.
Secondly both of them underlie certain fixed rules. They follow a system – be it the lingual system of a text or the conditions of production and history regarding the textile. Communication and fabric will not function, if they are not following their inherent, genuine settings. This is the reason, that the results always show a recognisable grid, ruling, pattern or structure based on obvious, repetitive norms.
Thirdly text and textile both generate a structure based on interwoven single elements. This structure – this matrix can cover content and separate it from the environment; the content may be an idea or statement, a body, an object or space. The structure connects and divides at the same time.
Finally, both text and textile are flexible. They have the extraordinary quality to adjust to expression, situation and form.
All these shared qualities make text and textile an ideal mode of representation for human interaction, or interaction with the organic and crystalline environment. Both can be literally called Social Fabric. Considering the unique visual and material beauty of these flexible matrices, it is hardly surprising, that text and textile not only always played an important role in general culture, but especially in Fine Arts. This tradition and tendency is compounded by a wave of irritating and exciting artworks leaving the studios of contemporary artists during the last years.
By showing an array of outstanding positions, the exhibition Active Texture investigates the latest outcomes in this field of contemporary art and sets them in a relating spatial framework. Thereby the focus is placed on the delicate connection between text and textile, which culminates in different textures. The exhibition will also investigate the interplay between the material and content of each unique artwork and will test their appearance and interaction in relation to the architectonical space. But most of all it will provide findings, on how text and textile is related to human condition in recent years. Compared to other cultural disciplines, art generates expression and meaning not only by language but also through the tangible presence of the works. Active Texture takes place exactly at the interface of this duality.
Text by Stephan Klee