December 11, 2012


Academy of Fine Arts Vienna
Bauhaus Dessau, architect Walter Gropius: Atelier für Studierende im Prellerhaus mit der von Gunda Stölzl entworfenen Bettdecke, 1926. Photo: Walter Peterhans. © Museum Folkwang.

The conference will focus on the interrelation between (social) history and the history of style. Looking at the related idea of “haptic space,” formulated by the Viennese art historian Alois Riegl, who also worked as curator of textiles at the Museum of Applied Arts, the critical involvement of (post-)formalist art practice and discourse in the debate about the dominance of the optical will thus be contrasted with specific phenomena within formalist modern art and art history. The presentations will discuss the traditional and current status of textiles as intermedia regarding the materiality of transsubjective forms of aesthetic production, cultural knowledge and social relations.

10–10:15 Introduction

10:15–11 Elke Gaugele (cultural scientist, Vienna), Style & Textile. “Alois Riegls dispute against the overestimation of Textile Art.”

11–11:45 Sascha Reichstein (artist, Vienna), “Guiding Patterns.”

11:45–12 Coffee break

12–12:45 Willem de Rooij (artist, Berlin), “About”

12:45–1pm Florian Pumhösl (artist, Vienna), “Textiles and Abstract Pictures.”
1:30–3pm Lunch break

3–3:45pm T’ai Smith (art historian, Vancouver), “Tactile Lessons.”

3:45–4:30pm Josephine Pryde (artist, Berlin), “Tough Because Responsive.”

4:30–5pm Coffee break

5–5:45pm Leire Vergara (curator, Bilbao), “Nothing to do in Sight: There is no sense of touch.”

5:45–6.30pm Yorgos Sapountzis (artist, Berlin), “Un/identifiable Skin.”

6:30–7:30pm Panel discussion, closing remarks

Introduction & Moderation: Sabeth Buchmann, Rike Frank, Grant Watson

In a series of discussions, exhibitions, seminars and presentations, OPEN LETTER looks at textiles in contemporary art and at their history, materiality and language. Taking its name from the 1958 tapestry by German Bauhaus artist, teacher and writer Anni Albers, it explores this rich but under-examined field of artistic production and how in recent years it has been taken up once again by practitioners.

TEXTILES: OPEN LETTER is a project by Rike Frank (Berlin/Leipzig), Grant Watson (London), Sabeth Buchmann (Vienna), and Leire Vergara (Bilbao). In collaboration with Akademie der Bildenden Künste Wien; Bulegoa z/b, Bilbao; INIVA, London; Galerie für Zeitgenössische Kunst and mzin, Leipzig; Allianz Kulturstiftung, and Kulturstiftung des Freistaates Sachsen.


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