March 8 – April 9, 2017
Opening on Wednesday, March 8, at 18:00
The words “textile” and “text” come from the Latin word textus, meaning “fabric,” “connection,” and “interwoven.” Our culture evolved in such a way that it was mostly men who interwove words to create texts, as words and language became carriers of power and law. The interweaving of threads was reduced to “women’s” work, an unexceptional craft compared with the intellectual “weaving of words.” Its function – to decorate, provide warmth and comfort, was synonymous with the role assigned to women in traditional cultures. Despite the technical complexity and visual richness of some textile and embroidery techniques, because of the word “feminine” these works were not considered on par with painting.
This attitude towards “female” techniques is consonant with the attitude towards women’s labor in general. Women earn less than men, and housework and caring for children, which in most cases falls on the shoulders of women, is unpaid and often goes unnoticed and unappreciated.
Embroidery and textile are becoming increasingly popular mediums in contemporary art world. But in conservative societies, embroidery and textile are still seen as having decorative functions and are presented as women’s hobbies where you copy ready patterns, thus having a somewhat discriminatory connotation.
That is why “female” techniques became important representations of feminist art. The exhibition TEXTUS. Embroidery, Textile, Feminism demonstrates how these techniques, by becoming mediums for reflection and critical expression, are undermining the hierarchy of artistic practices.
The exhibit explores this layer of art through the work of contemporary Ukrainian women artists. Presented through embroidery and textile, viewers are offered to read it as a narrative, returning to the original meaning of the word textus.
The works presented in this exhibit and the accompanying lectures and discussions will focus on women’s rights in Ukraine and the post-Soviet space, the issues of women’s labor, and identity in art and society.
Curator: Oksana Briukhovetska
Participants: Oksana Briukhovetska, Kseniya Gnylytska, Alina Kleytman, Alina Kopytsya, Tetiana Kornieyeva, Iryna Kudrya, Valentyna Petrova, Anna Shcherbyna, Sewing cooperative “Shvemy,” Anna Sorokovaya, Iryna Stasyuk, Olesya Trofimenko, Sofia Vremennaya, Anna Zvyagintseva
Admission is free
Opening hours: Tue–Sun, 12:00–20:00. Monday – closed.
Organizer: Центр візуальної культури
Supported by: ERSTE Stiftung and Charles Stewart Mott Foundation