Friday, October 27, 2006

Frber City: October in Toronto (part2)

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or this wearing another one of Andrea Vander Kooij

Balaclava For Kissing (Knitted wool yarn. 2006) at the Gladstone

It occurs to me the “Gossip Column” quality of this blog would be assisted by having photographs, I travel with out a camera and acquiring images is at best difficult and identifying the stratosphere is hard when you don’t have a starting point, there were several known artist curators and academics where attending this four day event. Looking at the name tags and putting names to work help me meet Matilda McQuaid head of the Cooper- Hewitt National Design Museum, curator of “Extreme Textiles: Design for High Performance” and co curator along with Cara McCarthy of “Structure and Surface: Contemporary Japanese Textiles ” for the Museum of Modern Art, New York. Two exhibitions I tried to see but due to bad timing missed, two weeks to early for one and three hours to late (flat tire between Kingston and Montreal were Surface and Structure was showing) But I get ahead of myself.

Janet Morton’s “ untitled as of yet” lace on Branches at the Gladstone

The Keynote speaker for this Symposium, anthropologist/ botanist, National Geographic Society’s Explorer in residence Wade Davis. His talk was refreshing, shocking, and mind expanding as well as informative to the extreme. Speaking of the human "ethnosphere" from his opening comments saying that with the death of one elderly person somewhere in the world another language dies he goes on to draw an amazing picture of people living with nature in a symbiotic relationship that is quickly disappearing. This talk set the tone for many of the papers or at least the intents of the others.

Locating, documenting and or examining stories of cloth production, traditions or technical innovation whether from the late roman period “A Study of Velvet Weaving: Past, Present, and Future in Dynamic Interaction” by Wendy Laundry (interdisciplinary doctorial studies in Humanities at Concordia) or contemporary laboratory experiments with spiders silk “Intimidate Textiles” written by Ingrid Bachman (Concordia) the broad range of papers presented had a common thread. Textiles are obliviously the result of humans imposing there ingenuity on the elemental structure of various plant and animal fibres and the imagination applied that has produce the many functional and decorative sheltering or containing objects that make up the vast vocabulary of fibre to textile processes. It is these varieties that are the subjects of these papers. Having to wait two years for the published collection of this symposium will be worth the wait.

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