This exhibition shows a selection of art purchased for the collections of the Textile Museum of Sweden between 2000 and 2023, in which the artist and former professor of the HDK-Valand Academy of Art and Design Anna T Wolgers reflects over themes, materials, and interpretations in textile art.
The title of the exhibition has been chosen with the various perspectives from which the works can be viewed in mind – from simply a visual to a more profound one, using only one’s eyes to reflecting over them at length in one’s mind. Layers of stories are laid on top of one another both physically and in the mind, giving form to the scattered shards of our time.
Materials-based art implies an object, something that can be touched. This may give rise to a conflict as the planet is already over-exploited: How can one defend creating yet another object? It is unreasonable to expect the creation of art to cease, but one can require artists to take responsibility for the environment in their field of work. One way of doing this is to be efficient in one’s artistic expression – minimising the environmental impact of one’s works as much as possible. We do not know if the artists considered this when creating these works, but as a visitor you can walk through the exhibition and view the works from the perspective of all of their layers and dimensions while trying to come up with as many interpretations of them as you possibly can.
The good thing here is that there is no right or wrong in how you interpret and understand the works.
We sometimes talk of the semiotics of textiles: a fabric pattern or a textile quality, evoking an understanding of a greater context. Take, for example, denim, the fabric from which jeans are made. How many millions of references to jeans – private, historical, and financial – have there been? Each person on the planet has a close bodily relationship to textile materials. It is like an extra tool, an extra colour on one’s palette. That is why it is relevant to talk of layers, the first of which relates to the choice of material.
Although this exhibition was not created based on an idea of themes, and is simply a selection of purchases made for the museum’s collections over a period of 23 years, tendencies can still be perceived:
- The critical eye – aesthetics is used to reflect and reconsider ideas, to suggest additional perspectives and greater complexity.
- Stillness and movement – this theme touches upon existential topics, small gestures, large events, cycles.
- Body and identity – a recurring theme; each era has its own need to question what it means to be human and give physical form to these thoughts.
The following artists are represented in the exhibition
May Bente Aronsen
Gunvor Nervold Antonsen
Åsa Norberg & Jennie Sundén