Discussions, talks and performances around textile production from guest speakers including trade unionists, artists curators and academics
Keith Henderson, Lancashire Cotton Mill, 1930, Courtesy of Manchester Art Gallery, copyright the artist
Social Fabric symposium
Saturday 10 March 2012
Venue: The Tab Centre, 2 Austin Street, London, E2 7NB
How do textiles affect the way we think about art, society and politics? Social Fabric symposium (10 March 2012) brings together a dynamic group of contemporary artists, curators, art historians and cultural theorists to reflect on this question in a day of presentations and debate.
Presented by Iniva (Institute of International Visual Arts), it takes as its starting point Iniva's Social Fabric exhibition at Rivington Place which explores the textile industry, colonial history, international trade, labour and radical politics. The symposium will also look at how artists, art historians and curators have chosen to use textiles as an area of research, often drawn by its relationship to these topics.
The symposium begins with a keynote address by Sarat Maharaj, an internationally recognised cultural theorist with an ongoing interest in the subject of textiles, who will outline themes for the day. Picking up on a central aspect of Social Fabric Professor John Hutnyk (Goldsmiths) discusses the writing of Karl Marx on textile production, the factory system, trade and the East India Company. Exhibition artist Alice Creischer will present her investigation into the colonial trade in textiles in conversation with Iniva curator Grant Watson, and artist Sudhir Patwardhan will elaborate on his painted depictions of Mumbai's textile mill workers and reflect on their struggles.
The afternoon keynote by Janis Jeffries (Goldsmiths) will outline pivotal moments in the history of textiles in art, its role and significance (including her seminal exhibition at the Whitechapel Gallery Woven Air) drawing on her extensive knowledge of the field. Carol Tulloch (TrAIN) will discuss the exhibitions she has curated on textiles from the perspective of activism and identity, and curator Kit Hammonds (RCA) will talk with Slavs and Tatars about the importance of textiles in the work of the collective.
The day includes light refreshments and a tour of the exhibition Social Fabric at Rivington Place and a late afternoon screening of Joana Vasconcelos' film Valkyrie Trousseau (2009) documenting her collaboration with the textile artisans of Nisa, Portugal.
Find out more about the exhibition and symposium and book online: http://www.iniva.org/
Social Fabric symposium is presented by Iniva in partnership with the Royal College of Art and is organised by Dr Christine Checinska.
Date: 10 March 2012, 9.30am - 6pm
Symposium venue: The Tab Centre, 2 Austin Street, London E2 7NB
Price: £25 (£15 concessions)
Book tickets: http://www.iniva.org/
Social Fabric exhibition
Iniva's Social Fabric exhibition at Rivington Place focuses on the textile industry and its relation to colonial history, international trade, labour and militant politics. It refers to Karl Marx's account of boom and bust in the industry and its effect on workers in Britain and India. Contemporary artworks by Sudhir Patwardhan and Alice Creischer are presented alongside archival materials including Marx's original journals, Indian chintz, films, and audio recordings of mill worker's stories. Until 10 March, free admission.
Professor Sarat Maharaj
Sarat Maharaj has lectured and published worldwide and has written on Marcel Duchamp, James Joyce and Richard Hamilton. His research covers cultural translation and difference, textiles, sonics, and visual art as knowledge production. He was a lecturer of art history and theory at Goldsmith's, University of London for over 10 years and was co-curator of Documenta XI, 2002.
Born in Gerolstein (1960), she studied Philosophy, German Literature and Visual Arts in Düsseldorf. A key figure of German political art movements in the 1990s, Alice Creischer has produced collective projects, publications and exhibitions. She is also co-curator of such exhibitions as Messe 2ok (1995), ExArgentina (2004) and The Potosi Principle (2010).
Sudhir Patwardhan has held solo exhibitions in Mumbai, Thane, New Delhi and Calcutta and participated in many group exhibitions including the Festival of India touring to George Pompidou Centre, Paris, New York and London (1982-86), and Aspects of Modern Indian Art, Oxford (1982).
Professor Janis Jefferies
Janis Jefferies is an artist, writer and curator, Director of the Constance Howard Resource and Research Centre for Textiles and Professor of Visual Arts in the Department of Computing, Goldsmiths, University of London. Her research interests include questions around text and textiles, gender, identity and subjectivity, digital studio and sonic arts, and curatorship and audience with a focus on cultural access to museums through haptic technology.
Professor John Hutnyk
Professor John Hutnyk is Academic Director of the Centre for Cultural Studies at Goldsmiths, University of London. He is author of The Rumour of Calcutta: Tourism, Charity and the Poverty of Representation (1996); Critique of Exotica: Music, Politics and the Culture Industry (2000) and Bad Marxism: Capitalism and Cultural Studies (2004), and several other titles.
Grant Watson is Senior Curator and Research Associate at Iniva and curated the Social Fabric exhibition. Until April 2010 he was Projects Curator at MuHKA, Antwerp and was ‘Visiting Curator' for Documenta X11 where he researched the participation of contemporary Indian artists in the exhibition. He studied Curating and Visual Cultures at Goldsmiths College, London.
Dr Christine Checinska
Christine Checinska completed her PhD at the Centre for Cultural Studies, Goldsmiths, University of London in 2009. Her research interests include material culture and its relationship to personal, social and cultural histories, dress in the migratory moment, and the subsequent exchanges/changes that occur as cultures collide, co-exist and coalesce. She also organised Iniva's Second Skins symposium (2009), and chaired Unstitched - a conversation relating to NS Harsha's installation Nations for Iniva in 2009.
Carol Tulloch is Reader in Dress and the African Diaspora at Camberwell College of Arts. She is a member of the Transnational Art, Identity and Nation research centre (TrAIN) and the TrAIN/V&A Fellow in the Research Department of the V&A. She was principal investigator of the Dress and the African Diaspora Network (2006-07).
Iniva (Institute of International Visual Arts) engages with new ideas and emerging debates in the contemporary visual arts, reflecting in particular the diversity of contemporary society. We work with artists, curators, creative producers, writers and the public to explore the vitality of visual culture. Iniva is supported by Arts Council England. For further information visit http://www.iniva.org/