The traveling international exhibition "The Event of a Thread: Global Narratives in Textiles" arrived to Israel.
Textiles are at the heart of the ifa touring exhibition, which raise a number of questions: what inherent meanings and messages hide in fabrics? What is their cultural significance? How can they be interpreted? What can fabrics tell us about their origins, meanings and social roles? Which traditional textile techniques have artists appropriated, abstracted, relocated and brought back to life?
Textiles constitute a locus in which art encounters handicraft, traditions meet the present day, and local knowledge intersects with global relationships. The exhibition highlights the multiple complex ways in which the participating artists work with textiles. They link personal and aesthetic narratives with the social and economic configuration of a globalized world. In 1965, Bauhaus artist Anni Albers described “the event of a thread” as something multilinear, without beginning or end: more broadly, it signifies constant scope to rethink relations and to restructure connections and contexts.
For the exhibition, artist Judith Raum has developed The Bauhaus Space, an installation dedicated to the Bauhaus Weaving Workshop. We discover rewoven fabrics and historic materials in a specially designed display that unfolds its extraordinary success story in six chapters.
In every part of the world, evidence can be found of the complex integration of textiles into the history of culture and industry. In cooperation with local artists and curators, the main body of the current exhibition will be complemented by artworks, performances, or actions that will create a new narrative. The newnarrative will be adapted to the specific context of each location, in turn linking the exhibition to artists who are active in different countries and to the uniquetextures of each locale.
In Israel, five local artists were included in the traveling exhibition: Buthina Abu Milhem, Gili Avissar, Katya Oicherman, Varda Getzow, and Ilana Ravek. Their work with fabrics and threads occupies a central place and to a great extent characterizes their art: either weaving and embroidery using traditional methods, or making various uses of fabrics that are gathered and joined together to create a new object. The local aspect is apparent in the treatment of landscape, history, and the personal stories of the artists. The stories center on experiences of history’s painful memories, immigration, and issues of national and gender identity, as well as the desire to preserve and memorialize a lost cultural legacy. The intersections between past and present, the parts and the whole, and textile traditions and contemporary art break apart the customary boundaries between craft and art, and afford the personal, familial story a universal dimension.
The use of fabrics, carpets, and threads, as well as sewing, weaving, knitting, and embroidery technics has been gaining a significant standing in contemporary Israeli art, and several important exhibitions were dedicated to this phenomenon, which is shattering gender boundaries and distinctions between art and design. In the current exhibition, we have been able to present only a small selection of artists whose work fits in with the exhibition’s concept. Works by two Israeli artists, Noah Eshkol and Eran Schaerf, are included in the original travelling exhibition. Noa Eshkol, the wellknown Israeli choreographer, has also created wall hangings. Israeli born Eran Schaerf has contributed a new installation to the exhibition in Be’er Sheva.
Textile art in Israel is also related to the section dedicated to the Bauhaus (on display at the Trumpeldor Gallery). When the New Bezalel opened in Jerusalem in 1935, it was in the spirit of the Bauhaus, the great German school. Several years later, Julia Keiner established the weaving department, where students studied and created under the inspiration of the ideas and styles developed at the Bauhaus’s weaving workshop.
סוזאנה וייס ואינקה גרסל
Curator: Dr Dalia Manor
Assistant curator: Nirit Dahan
Buthina Abu Milhem, Gili Avissar, Ulla von Brandenburg, Noa Eshkol, Andreas Exner, Uli Fischer, Varda Getzow, Zille Homma Hamid, Heide Hinrichs, Olaf Holzapfel, Christa Jeitner, Elisa van Joolen &
Vincent Vulsma, Eva Meyer & Eran Schaerf, Karen Michelsen Castañón, Katya Oicherman, Judith Raum, Ilana Ravek, Franz Erhard Walther.
The Bauhaus Space, a project by Judith Raum
Be'er Sheva municipality
Ministry of Culture and Sport
Ben Gurion University of the Negev
The Event of a Thread: Global Narratives in Textiles
Editor: Dr Dalia Manor
Design and production: Josseph Jibri / Megama.net