“The Difference Loom” is a visual contemporary art exhibition exploring textiles and technology. It runs from 22 August - 27 September (opening 21 August) at Iziko South African National Gallery, Annexe, Cape Town.
“The Difference Loom” is a visual contemporary art exhibition exploring textiles and technology.
It features works by 8 artists (4 from the UK and 4 from SA) who use textiles as one medium of social critique:
Quanta Gauld . Keiskamma Art Project . Mbali Khoza . Fabian Saptouw (SA)
Janis Jefferies . David Mabb . Richard Rigg . Nina Wakeford (UK)
We sense the body in textiles, but not in technology. We discern the analytical in technology, but not in weavings. This exhibition is about those perceptions/disconnections, explored in that area where textiles and technology intersect.
Textiles invoke our haptic sense, we feel it (visually), and in particular what we sense is the body. This is evident in Keiskamma Art Project’s “Keiskamma Guernica”, where we feel the suffering of those dying of HIV Aids and their mourners. We also feel the human in Mbali Khoza’s work, though in exploring language and narrative, what we are sensing is the ephemerality of human creation.
Quanta Gauld’s work brings to the fore the issue of value and exploitation of labour. In the context of the exhibition’s theme, we consider this relative to the machine. David Mabb’s work reminds us that man versus machine is one of our inheritances from the Industrial Revolution, and his work looks back to 2 significant socialist designers from the early age of the machine who had opposing beliefs about the hand-made versus industrialization. Bringing us back to the contemporary, Fabian Saptouw looks at our fetish for the hand-made in art objects, and Nina Wakeford looks at our captivation with technology.
The historical link between the automated loom and the modern day computer is explored by Janis Jefferies, leading to a work that explores the abstract conceptual possibilities of textiles.
Richard Rigg’s work is also about thinking, the artist’s, and ours in completing the art work.
“The Difference Loom” on textiles and technology is really about our making and thinking, of textiles, art, technology and cultural values.
<read more: the curatorial statement, as well as the artists’ bios and some images, are in the attached pdf>
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