Azra Akšamija’s Yarn-dez-vous at the kunsthalle mulhouse

Azra Aksamija, Yarn-dez-vous (left); Tanja Boukal Memories of Travels and Dreams (right), installation view at the Kunsthalle Mulhouse. Photo by Sébastien Bozon.
ACT at MIT

An installation version of ACT professor Azra Akšamija’s cultural fabrics project, Yarn-dez-vous, is featured this summer as part of the Kunsthalle Mulhouse’s group show, A World Not Ours, based on an idea by Paul Virilio and curated by Katerina Gregos.

The show includes works by:

Azra Akšamija (Bosnia/Herzegovina) / Taysir Batniji (Palestine) / Tanja Boukal (Austria) / Ninar Esber (Lebanon) / Aslan Gaisumov (Chechnya) / Mahdi Fleifel (UAE) / Stine Marie Jacobsen (Denmark) / Sven’t Jolle (Belgium) / Sallie Latch (USA) / Eleonore de Montesquiou (France) / Giorgos Moutafis (Greece) / Marina Naprushkina (Belarus) / Juice Rap News (Australia) / Somar Sallam (Syria/Algeria) / Mounira Al Solh (Lebanon) and others.

A World Not Ours focuses on the current refugee crisis and issues of forced displacement related to the war in Syria as well as other conflict zones. It also looks into how European citizens experience the migration crisis, and explores problems of the representation of suffering, the “ownership” of refugee images and who has the right to represent them. The exhibition includes a group of artists, photographers, filmmakers, and activists who mostly come from the Middle East or South-Eastern Europe, from countries that have experienced war, exodus, and perilousness first hand.

Yarn-dez-vous is a wearable quilt featuring textiles from the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region and the United States. Hexagons and star-shaped modules of the quilt can be transformed into individual letterman’s jackets and vice versa: the jackets unzip flat into geometric elements that form the larger quilt. The name of the project is a hybrid of the words yarn and rendezvousYarn refers both to a thread used for making fabrics and to storytelling, whereas rendezvous refers to the encounter that the jackets of this project allow. Project participants were asked to bring textiles from the location of their residence, which were then combined with textiles from Boston as the base material for the jackets and the quilt. The project is in a state of ongoing transformation and customization, increasing the quilt modules to more variations of culturally signifying clothes—such as tunics, kaftans, abayas, dresses, and shirts—inspired from the East and the West.

venue

  • la kunsthalle mulhouse
    La Fonderie
    16 rue de la Fonderie
    68093 Mulhouse
    France

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