Julia Bryan-Wilson: Fray: Art and Textile Politics (2017)

25 March 2018, dusan

“In 1974, women in a feminist consciousness-raising group in Eugene, Oregon, formed a mock organization called the Ladies Sewing Circle and Terrorist Society. Emblazoning its logo onto t-shirts, the group wryly envisioned female collective textile making as a practice that could upend conventions, threaten state structures, and wreak political havoc. Elaborating on this example as a prehistory to the more recent phenomenon of “craftivism”—the politics and social practices associated with handmaking—Fray explores textiles and their role at the forefront of debates about process, materiality, gender, and race in times of economic upheaval.

Closely examining how amateurs and fine artists in the United States and Chile turned to sewing, braiding, knotting, and quilting amid the rise of global manufacturing, Julia Bryan-Wilson argues that textiles unravel the high/low divide and urges us to think flexibly about what the politics of textiles might be. Her case studies from the 1970s through the 1990s—including the improvised costumes of the theater troupe the Cockettes, the braided rag rugs of US artist Harmony Hammond, the thread-based sculptures of Chilean artist Cecilia Vicuña, the small hand-sewn tapestries depicting Pinochet’s torture, and the NAMES Project AIDS Memorial Quilt—are often taken as evidence of the inherently progressive nature of handcrafted textiles. Fray, however, shows that such methods are recruited to often ambivalent ends, leaving textiles very much “in the fray” of debates about feminized labor, protest cultures, and queer identities; the malleability of cloth and fiber means that textiles can be activated, or stretched, in many ideological directions.

The first contemporary art history book to discuss both fine art and amateur registers of handmaking at such an expansive scale, Fray unveils crucial insights into how textiles inhabit the broad space between artistic and political poles—high and low, untrained and highly skilled, conformist and disobedient, craft and art.”

Publisher University of California Press, 2017
ISBN 9780226077819, 0226077810
326 pages
via slowrotation

Review: Holland Cotter (New York Times, 2017).

Video interview with author (with Lynne Cooke, NGA, 60 min, 2017)

Publisher
WorldCat

PDF (18 MB)

Rhizomes, 30: Quantum Possibilities: The Work of Karen Barad (2016)

4 August 2016, dusan

“In the past decade, Karen Barad’s oeuvre, especially the voluminous Meeting the Universe Halfway (2007), has attracted increasingly great attention in feminist philosophy, cultural studies and feminist science studies. Alongside scholars like Elizabeth Wilson and Vicki Kirby, she has spearheaded the recent feminist exploration of complex scientific issues, and presented new less categorical ways of thinking ontology and epistemology (or indeed onto-epistemology as she refers to it) as a result. Many of the terms introduced and developed by Barad, such as ‘intra-action’, ‘diffraction’ and ‘agential realism’ have shifted the standard metrics of knowledge production and her theories have inspired animated discussion in emerging critical strands as varied as the new materialism in feminism, object oriented ontology, post- and transhumanism, speculative realism, environmental and digital humanities, among others. In a critical climate that is becoming increasingly ‘Baradian’, this special issue on the ‘Quantum Possibilities’ of Barad’s work does not merely aim to reflect the engagements currently being made within these fields, but extends Barad’s ethos of continually rethinking our critical concepts and methodologies ‘without taking these distinctions to be foundational or holding them in place’. Creating ‘diffractive’, or new ‘quantum level’ means of reflecting on, and engaging with Barad’s work, the essays collected here stake out a new set of directions for their wide array of disciplinary identities.”

With essays by Joseph Rouse, Evelien Geerts and Iris van der Tuin, Rebekah Sheldon, Kathrin Thiele, Hanna Meißner, Andie Elizabeth Shabbar, Ulf Mellström, Martin Savransky, Dorothea Olkowski, Graham Harman, Levi R. Bryant, Rick Dolphijn, Katie King, Ino Mamic, and Myra J. Hird.

Edited by Karin Sellberg & Peta Hinton
Published 12 July 2016
Open access
ISSN 1555-9998

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Scott MacKenzie (ed.): Film Manifestos and Global Cinema Cultures: A Critical Anthology (2014)

7 July 2015, dusan

“This is the first book to collect manifestos from the global history of cinema, providing the first historical and theoretical account of the role played by film manifestos in filmmaking and film culture. Focusing equally on political and aesthetic manifestos, Scott MacKenzie uncovers a neglected, yet nevertheless central history of the cinema, exploring a series of documents that postulate ways in which to re-imagine the cinema and, in the process, re-imagine the world.

This volume collects the major European “waves” and figures (Eisenstein, Truffaut, Bergman, Free Cinema, Oberhausen, Dogme ‘95); Latin American Third Cinemas (Birri, Sanjinés, Espinosa, Solanas); radical art and the avant-garde (Buñuel, Brakhage, Deren, Mekas, Ono, Sanborn); and world cinemas (Iimura, Makhmalbaf, Sembene, Sen). It also contains previously untranslated manifestos co-written by figures including Bollaín, Debord, Hermosillo, Isou, Kieslowski, Painlevé, Straub, and many others. Thematic sections address documentary cinema, aesthetics, feminist and queer film cultures, pornography, film archives, Hollywood, and film and digital media. Also included are texts traditionally left out of the film manifestos canon, such as the Motion Picture Production Code and Pius XI’s Vigilanti Cura, which nevertheless played a central role in film culture.”

Publisher University of California Press, 2014
ISBN 0520276744, 9780520276741
xxi+651 pages
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Author’s talk (video, 2017, 20 min).

Reviews: Wheeler Winston Dixon (Film International), Matthew Hunt, Bill Nichols (Film Quarterly).

Publisher
WorldCat

PDF