Friday, January 20, 2012

knitting nation

Sadly, I just missed knowing about these recent performances at the ICA and therefore can only enjoy them from the gorgeous photographs and incredible videos. The sounds of the machines working is incredible. Artist Liz Collins has been working with her performances Knitting Nation since 2005. But the most recent interpretations done at the ICA seem much more choreographed and feel more like a ballet of knitters or a ballet of knitting soldiers than a community event as some of her earlier works did.

images from earlier performances.

She states this about the project:

KNITTING NATION (KN) , which utilizes a team of uniformed machine knitters to build site-specific, large-scale fabric installations. My experience with apparel and textile manufacturing, and a strong desire to perform my craft, has inspired this choreographed response to these vast and complicated industries, in which knitting machines are the tools with which to interrogate gender, sexuality, fashion, hand-crafting and industrial production in the era of globalization. This project lays bare the process of machine knitting in order to demonstrate the complex and fascinating nature of this medium, which is one representation of many human-dependent and physically demanding textile and garment making processes and traditions.


In the recent interpretations of this the performers seem almost robotic and the lighting and layout of the space very dramatic. They remind me a bit of Ann Hamilton's performances- in her way of laying out the space and focus on labor and repetition. However Liz's work always has multiple player while Ann's are always solitary.

images from earlier performance.

See tons of photos from the work and some videos where you can here the amazing sound of the machines at her site here.


Knotted Nest said...

Wow! This would be amazing to see performed live. It also made me think of Germain Koh's "Knitwork". I love how the artist explores the passage of time and how it is embodied by the materials themselves.

Joetta M. said...

mmm, i will have to look that up!