Tradition and innovation are the front and back sides of fabric.
Jenny Berntsson's ongoing research project Textile Architecture originally emerged from an interest in Shunga, Japanese erotic paintings from the 17th to 19th centuries. In the paintings, she noticed how the fabric become an expression of movement and implication, both covering and exposing the bodies at the same time. She started to draw the fabric body without human body under it. Thus it is treated neither as material nor object, but the drawings start to tell a new and open narrative. Later, when seeing migrants and beggers staying in public space in Stockholm, she re-examined the notion of the fabric as a piece of architecture—people who tried to cover themselves, to hide, to curl themselves to be invisible, until you can hardly tell if they are objects or human being. In a world that looks so clean and clear, they are temporary and fragile, but their strangeness is also very stubborn.
Fabric is essential to protect the naked human body from climatic conditions. In addition, it renders the illusion of beauty, identity and power - we try to grab, to posses, to show, then to throw away and forget. Fabric covers people and moves with us for every single step taken; it divides the boundary between public and private; it defines a distance between the human being and its surroundings; it expresses freedom and taboo; it is unfolding a story that is happening now.
Please join us this Saturday Nov. 28th from 3pm to 4pm for Jenny Berntsson’s performance and exhibition Cover Me. Part of her research project Textile Architecture will be on display in Black Sesame Space.