Artists: Aynaz Parkas, Vitória Monteiro, Keimi Nakashima-Ochoa
To fold; To fault will feature three interdisciplinary artists working with contemporary fibre-based mediations. Each artist considers creative labour as a form of knowledge production, moving through their own practice as forms of translating and presenting bodies of knowledge. This exhibition is an exercise in changing the way knowledge is shared. Taking knowledge systems that are usually presented as separate branches that have to be climbed – like trees – and presenting them as something that is shared, interdependently, and easy to experience–like rhizomes, the interconnected root systems that grow horizontally and sprout easily and often. By creating work using materials mostly with plant and animal fibre (pieces that are usually labelled as crafts), naming it as contemporary art, and presenting it in formal art spaces, the artists look to both breakdown and reimagine the boundaries between “art” and “craft.”
The artists come together in this show and contemplate how they, their bodies, their art, and their familial and cultural knowledge have had to twist and bend in the light of a western, ‘arborescent’ (tree-like) contemporary lens. By exploring the eclectic spaces where knowledge is produced, and systems are created for it to be stored – whether it’s academic, institutional, land-based, bodily, or familial – To fold; To fault aims to disrupt a colonial narrative that each of these spaces must live within its own, separate containers.
Aynaz Parkas – Artist Statement:
While reflecting on her lived experiences and memories, Aynaz Parkas explores the complexities of cultural norms, socio-political constructs, spaces and their relationship to bodily realities, labour, trauma, and more. She utilizes various mediums in her process-based practice, including painting, installation, and sculpture to learn, unlearn, construct, and deconstruct the dominant, privileged, and exclusionary forms of knowledge. Parkas uses rhizomatic methodologies of research and art making to navigate the ways in which knowledge is produced and consumed and she interrupts them by materializing their products. For her, abstract notions can be manipulated when translated into objects and installations. This translation develops a conversation between the concept, medium, and the material where each element carries its own meaning and history.
Keimi Nakashima-Ochoa- Artist Statement:
Through these works, I seek to dissect, interpose, and bring attention to art objects as both sculptural entities and environments for images.In sculptural processes, makers and viewers alike often take for granted “found” objects, which are usually mass-produced items that go through a rigorous design and evaluation process, which involves an undeniable amount of creativity. In “two-dimensional” art forms, many sculptural processes — such as mounting and stretching canvas, pulping paper, and mixing pigments— are overlooked. My work seeks to bring attention to these methods of artistic creation through synthetically-dyed natural fibre, and geometric or abstracted shapes that serve as a nod to the traditional weavings of Jalisco — the state in Mexico where my parents, my siblings, and I were raised. Creating woven pieces in a variety of sizes, through slow, methodical labour, and then composing and collaging them together, I serve as both the paper-maker and the artist. I am weaving the canvas, and then creating and image upon and with it. Though fibre work has, in western art history, been labelled broadly as craft, I am looking to blur these lines by working to create functional objects that can be transformed into art objects. In the western canon, textile art has also broadly been designated as “women’s work,” even in more “progressive” spaces like the Bauhaus. While I am not interested in denying this history, I am interested in bringing attention to the parallels between “women’s work” and my work— that of a chronically ill and non-white person. Weaving
is work that I can do sitting down, from home, without harmful aerosols or particulates. It is work that keeps my hands busy and my brain engaged. I can do it in near-complete silence, or while listening to music or a podcast. I can use this work to connect to ancestral art practices, while also creating an ongoing and new art practice.
Vitória Monteiro – Artist Statement:
Vitória Monteiro, born in Belém, Brazil 1997, is an artist who explores the intricacies of language abstraction, the reprocessing of information, cultural identity, gender, and queerness. Monteiro uses the mediums of papermaking, sculpture, installation, and performance to navigate the various realms that knowledge inhabits. With a subtle undertone of satire, they strive to locate themselves within these different spaces. Their works embody the themes of dislocation, translation, indexicality, and citation. Currently, Monteiro is working on a body of work titled Residual and Intrusive Finds, an ongoing series that functions as a storage system of language abstraction. The work references geological block diagrams, mimicking a portion of earth that has been systematically excavated in order to find buried remains. Through the exploration of the eclectic spaces where knowledge is produced and stored, be it academic, land-based, somatic, societal, personal, they strive to disrupt a colonial narrative that each of these spaces must live within their own, separate containers. The works in this series accumulate texts forming an archive of words, once legible, turned abstract, that can no longer be read in the traditional way. In addition, Monteiro is examining the interpretive act of reading as a productive operation in the sense of knowledge production as well as the production of matter, in this case, artwork. Through a rigorous process of breaking down recycled paper, the pulpy materiality provides a new realm for knowledge to inhabit that is silent, inarticulate, and abstract and, in doing so, proposes a new way of reading.