Encounters introduces artworks that lead us to different understandings of the subversive stitch. This section introduces the films that were screened at the Subversive Stitch Revisted conference, and an exhibition curated in response to the idea of revisiting the subversive stitch of items selected from the Goldsmiths Textiles Collection.
Unpicking the Pattern (2013)
Starting in the 1840s, Eleonore Riego de la Branchardière made popularising the making of crochet into her life's business. Unpicking the Pattern is a short experimental film combining the research of Dr Barbara Ballantyne and the Board of Trade copyright registers at the National Archives. This film charts Mademoiselle Riego's assertive protection of her own designs throughout the mid-nineteenth century.
Anna Brass is an artist and filmmaker. She has an MA in Experimental Film from Kingston University, and a BA in Fine Art from Newcastle University. Anna was recently commissioned by the National Archives to make a sequence of films about the AHRC-funded Design Register project, run by Nancy Bell and Dinah Eastop.
Radionica, SD video, 12: 07 mins (2005)
Margareta Kern spent a month recording the working life at her mother's made-to-measure tailoring business, which she runs from a small flat in Banja Luka (Bosnia-Herzegovina). The resulting video, Radionica, is in two parts. The first part reflects the intimate nature of conversations between women while getting their clothes made, and on the slippage between the private space of home and the public space of work. The second part focuses on the story of Desa, who re-tells a scene from the war which she saw on a video tape, but which happened not far from her house. While re-telling her story, Desa does not stop sewing; the very act of working is enabling her to speak. Radionica was made possible by the Necessary Journeys travel bursary Kern was awarded by the Arts Council England and the British Film Institute in 2005.
Kon Kon Pi, Chile, 13:23 mins (2010)
In this visual poem the artist re-enacts the ancient meaning of the word "Kon Kon" (life force life force), weaving with the contaminated sea of Con Con, Chile. The film was commissioned by MoMA for the On Line, Drawing through the Twentieth Century exhibition.
Vicuña is a poet, visual artist and filmmaker born in Santiago de Chile. A precursor of conceptual art in Latin America, her work deals with the interactions between text and textile, language and earth. Her most recent exhibitions are: Artists for Democracy: The Archive of Cecilia Vicuña, Museo de la Memoria y los Derechos Humanos, Chile 2014, and Cecilia Vicuña, England & Co, London, 2013. Books include El Zen Surado (Catalonia, 2013), Spit Temple, Selected Performances of Cecilia Vicuña (Ugly Duckling Presse, 2012), runner-up to the 2013 PEN Award for Poetry in Translation. She lives in New York and Chile.