Here, There and Everywhere
Contemporary Textile Art Exhibition in Minsk Belarus, BY
27.10. - 28.11.2021
POSTER design by Stefan Secretspaces and KhristinaVysotskaya
The contemporary textile and mixed media art exhibition "Here, There and Everywhere" in Minsk, Belarus opened on October 27, 2021 at the City Art Gallery of L. D. Schemelew's Art. The curator and artist Khristina Vysotskaya brought together five different contemporary positions in textile art: classic - sculptural - digital - photographic and conceptual. Her aim was and is to show new and current content in this special field of visual arts. The focus of these more than 100 works by five artists is not the traditionally applied meaning of fiber products; rather, it is the interdisciplinary, deep intellectual, emotional, or philosophical content that is important in the latest international art development. This textile thinking opens up boundaries and spaces for new approaches and possibilities to see textiles, textile art and local cultural history in a different and diverse way. The enormously rich traditional textile culture of the region in Eastern Europe can be seen in a different context and opens up a view of internationality and transdisciplinarity.
Each artist pursues his or hers own special content and techniques. Their materials, techniques and methods of artistic research are as diverse as their cultural backgrounds. The artists themselves try to work with but otherwise to overcome their traditional heritages. They live and operate in different countries and cultural areas.
Born in Iran, SOUDE DADRAS is a multi-disciplinary artist, curator, and educator living and working in Atlanta, Georgia. She received an MFA in Studio Arts from Georgia State University with an emphasis on textiles. She has a bachelor's degree in Persian rugs with a focus on restoring antique and historical hand-woven textiles. With eleven years of curatorial experience, Dadras is the founder, curator, and managing director of "Ongoing Conversation", a platform whose mission is "to bring together disparate voices in the visual arts through an international purview in order to examine cross-cultural similarities of the human condition". Dadras represents more than 1,000 artists from 23 countries, and the number is rising; this representation and inclusivity is essential to the artist's personal creative process and professional curatorial projects. Her works have been featured in publications across the globe, including newspapers and magazines from the U.S.A, Japan, Turkey, Iran and Belarus.
The Indian artist RAHUL SHARMA works in the field of artistic documentary photography. He uses historical cameras and pays great attention to the process of creating a frame, its manual development and subsequent refinement. He also turns to digital photography. In his work, Rahul explores the themes of the creation of life - nature and man. His details in photographs of nature and urban everyday life in New Delhi and Amsterdam are filled with the frozen beauty of intertwined textures, "carpet" landscapes, multi-layered draperies. We can confidently call this approach “textile photography”. In 2014 he graduated from the Liberal Arts College of Idaho, Caldwell, Id, U.S.A. (Studio Art). In 2017 he received an M.A. in Conservation at the National Museum Institute of History of Art, Conservation, and Museology, New Delhi. India. Since 2020 he holds a M.Sc. in Conservation and Restoration of Cultural Heritage, with a specialization in photography at the University of Amsterdam, The Netherlands. Currently he is undergoing the Advanced Professional Program in Conservation and Restoration at the University of Amsterdam.
The Austrian artist MANUEL WANDL, who calls himself "Free weaver", devotes all of his creative energy to hand weaving, natural textile dyeing, sewing machine embroidery and other techniques. At the same time he researches the historical textiles of Austria, participates in numerous practice-oriented research projects to revive the textile tradition in West African countries. In his work he focuses on social and current issues of our time, pays great attention to the issues of recycling and the respectful use of materials. After studying industrial textile design and art education, he began teaching at the Herbststrasse School of Art, Fashion and Design (Vienna) and has been teaching at the University of Applied Arts Vienna since 2015. He is member of the European Textile Network (ETN) and the European Cooperation in Science and Technology (COST) – Europe Through Textiles.
The German artist STEFAN "SECRETSPACES" has been working in the field of three-dimensional digital art for more than ten years. His works are a prime example of the connection between the textile visual language and the space of virtual reality. The artist creates images and video art filled with intricate details of weaves, fibers, colour and texture transitions. Stefan draws his inspiration from everything that surrounds him, from nature and various art forms. He is particularly concerned about interactions and intersections of contrasting materials and processes in which he finds structural patterns, natural processes of growth and decay. Based on his impressions, the artist forms algorithms, the writing of which is an essential part of the artistic process. The algorithm can generate an unlimited number of shape variations in the form of digital sculptures and spatial landscapes in which it selects certain angles, adjusts light and environment. Stefan's works are exhibited for the first time.
The Belarusian artist KHRISTINA VYSOTSKAYA works in the field of textile sculpture and art objects. She is interested in topics of the inner and outer world of humans and their interaction, which touch on questions of existential philosophy and the cosmic principle. In her sculptures she explores the possibilities of combining traditional and authoritarian techniques of hand weaving, finding a balance between abstract minimalism and soft natural forms. Khristina Vysotskaya has been teaching at the Belarusian State Academy of Arts since 2015, and has been curator for art exhibitions since 2016. She is member of the Belarusian Union of Artists and the European Textile Network (ETN). In 2020 she was the author of the first Belarusian monumental textile sculpture "The Tree of Knowledge" for the pavilion of the Republic of Belarus at the World EXPO 2020 in Dubai, UAE (together with Alexander Dranets).
Vysotskaya’s drive as a curator was to bring these differences in aspects and working methods to Belarus, her cultural home. For a long time, over a year, she was searching for artists and organized this exhibition. The approach of finding artists via Instagram, getting in contact with them and planning them together with them was also something new for everyone.
The poster directly shows the international and intercultural aspect of this exhibition. The artist of Secretspaces created an animated short motion picture using the handwritten letters of each artist. The words “Here, There and Everywhere” are written like threads in a circle around the exhibition site. A single image from the animation is used as the background of the poster. This also makes the connectedness of the five positions and the artists noticeable.
Since Anni Albers, contemporary textile art is no longer decorative. It is not something of earmarked value. Due to its appearance, it is a haptic, visual area that is connected and established in the respective culture, which can open up a wide variety of techniques and materials. It is a way of textile thinking – still connected all over the world and deeply interwoven in every culture.
The exhibition is accompanied by lectures and workshops by the participating artists. Artist talks and excursion for students at the Belarusian State Academy of Arts in Minsk are also part of it. The exhibition runs until November 28th, after which it will be shown in various other cities in Belarus.
Text: Khristina Vysotskaya and Manuel Wandl, November 2021
Rahul Sharma. From the series Totems and Altars (5), digital photo, 2015-2017
Rahul Sharma. From the series Totems and Altars (6), digital photo, 2015-2017
Stefan «Secretspaces». HAIRLECTRONICS. Digital 3D graphics, 2016-2017
Stefan «Secretspaces». GLITCHWAVE. Digital 3D graphics, 2019