The invocation of X
Passing on a textile code
“The Invocation of X” takes its beginning in a narrative about domestic textile handicrafts in a historical perspective. This is in turn connected to other stories: handicrafts as a political strategy, secret societies, and the shared matrix of textile and digital structures. The main intention of this work has been to investigate how textile handicrafts can be used in order to negotiate and transgress discursive borders: for example, the ideological division between domestic and public space. The whole project is filtered through an old sampler book, a collection of images and ornaments in cross stitch. This book is used throughout the process to formulate questions around its imagery, specifically focusing on how this visual grammar has historically been part of a textile language - a way of communication that has been superseded by the written and printed word. The cross stitch sign system is therefore, here, perceived as a hidden code. The notion of hidden information is also present in the narrative on a larger scale: how the cultural history of textile work has not always been regarded as an important key to understand our shared past. Another intention of doing this project has been to find material based work methods for processing historical facts, in order to shed new light on them in a contemporary craft and art context. This has been done through studying and articulating the similiarities between house work and textile work, textile and digital, home and publicity. This knowledge has then been fed into a practical research process based in cross stitch embroidery. The coded cross stitch images have been manipulated digitally, and the small stitches magnified into pixels in large scale patchworks. The material result is an installation comprised of five large flags, a table, an embroidery hoop, a collection of books and a documentation sampler. On a personal level, this work process has led to a deeper understanding of how to integrate theory with practice, a stronger self-reliance in my way of working with objects and installations, and new ideas of possible continuations of this work that will follow me for a long time.
Författarens egna ämnesord: textiles, history, cross stitch, embroidery, samplers