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Punctures: Textiles in Digital and Material Time

Betty Yu, Cecilia Vicuña, Charlie Best, Eniola Dawodu, Kite, Sabrina Gschwandtner

May 20, 2021 – Jul 3, 2021
Interested in visiting?

SPACE is pleased to host the exhibition Punctures: Textiles in Digital and Material Time, curated by Ekrem Serdar of Squeaky Wheel Film & Media Art Center in Buffalo, NY. Drawing from the little-known but expansive history connecting media arts and textile production, the exhibition features artists invested in the material, critical, and liberatory politics of their intersections.

From the Lumière brothers taking the intermittent motion of a sewing machine to create the cinematograph, to the punch cards of the Jacquard loom forming the basis of modern computation, and the role of sewing and gendered labor in jobs like editing and dyeing in film production, textile production remains an essential, but insufficiently unacknowledged formal and social influence on media arts. These underpinnings aim to not only explicate an alternate history, but are meant to find ways to speculate new futures for media practice.

The artworks in Punctures explore a wide range of practices including trans fashion and domesticity; gendered and immigrant labor under global racial capitalism; Gelede women’s commemoration, protest and power as represented in textile work; speculative future-casting through Oglala Lakota knowledge systems, and more.

Organized by 2017 Warhol Foundation Curatorial Fellow, Ekrem Serdar, this exhibition was originally presented in three consecutive two-person exhibitions from September 2019-February 2020 with a dynamic screening and event program component (an archived calendar is viewable at this link) at Squeaky Wheel. While we won’t (yet) be presenting any of the programs that accompany this exhibition due to the ongoing pandemic conditions for live events, visitors to SPACE will be able to see the six artists in this project together in one gallery for the first time.

The exhibition features installations by Betty Yu, Cecilia Vicuña, Charlie Best, Eniola Dawodu, Kite, and Sabrina Gschwandtner.

Multiple components of the exhibition are interactive and visitors are invited to follow gallery signs or the gallery attendant on best practices for interacting with the work. SPACE is upholding best practices for pandemic public health by sanitizing our SPACE and offering private appointments to continue playing our part in the safety of the larger community and all of our visitors.

Betty Yu, The Garment Worker (2014) and In/Visible Labor in Chinatown (2019), interactive screen, textiles, video, sound, documents, and other ephemera.
Installation view, Cecilia Vicuña, La Noche de las Especies (2009), graphite on paper with video animation, 60 minutes, looped. Courtesy the artist and Lehmann Maupin, New York, Hong Kong, and Seoul.
Charlie Best, Green Shimmer Shirt (2019), repurposed fabric; and We Interrupt This Program (2019), video, sound, and mixed media.
Eniola Dawodu, IRAN si IRAN (2019), woven synthetic hair fibers and wooden stool. Made in collaboration with Wolof coiffure artisans of Dakar, Senegal, and Manjak weavers of Fass Canal 4, Dakar, Senegal.
Kite, Everything I Say Is True (2017). thokhaŋtaŋhaŋ (from elsewhere), video and sound on two television screens, 5 min; ziŋtkáthó, wíhiyayela (bluebird, time), China silk, silk chiffon, embroidery thread, glass beads; Everything I Say Is True script, 10 pages; Everything I Say Is True, performance with carbon fiber, dress, video, and sound, 30 minutes. Commissioned by the Walter Phillips Gallery at the Banff Centre for Arts and Creativity. 
Sabrina Gschwandtner, Hands at Work Video (2017).

As of May 20, 2021, SPACE is open for gallery visitors for in-person 25 minute private appointments that can be booked virtually at the link here. SPACE’s temporary gallery hours are Thursdays & Fridays from 2-6pm and on Saturdays from 12-4pm, as well as by appointment or chance.

Photos by Carolyn Wachnicki.

Are you a Maine artist looking to fund a project? Apply to our American Rescue Plan Project grant program today. Deadline: June 26th at 11:59 PM.