cloth project literally begins with a cloth, huge, thin, thick, soft, rough and smooth. In other words, from a workable surface which may cover us, silence our contours, yet may also allow us to reshape our traits, gain new texture or else self-withdraw within… and by that perform a different (fictional) choreography. The project advocates choreography as the covering, rather than the disclosing of form/meaning, thus as a way to “uncover” by concealment – in both a literal and a metaphoric sense. To re-cover and cover anew is therefore the strategy of becoming that the project systematically employs – by a series of retakes whereby sight and language are questioned and reprocessed, in both tangible and virtual terms.
cloth refers to the concept of ‘fold’ as formulated by philosopher Gilles Deleuze thorough his reading of Gottfried Wilhelm von Leibniz and the Baroque aesthetics’ chiaroscuro. Fold stands here for the draping of a surface that folds onto itself, in turn whereby the ‘outer layer’ of surface exposes (simulates) a virtual ‘internal depth’. In other words, not by the ‘uncovering’ of itself, but rather by the folding of its outer-surface onto itself, whilst dwelling itself into the narrow turns of each fold and surrendering to the ‘unfolding’ brightness of each fold’s shadow’s outer edge of chiaroscuro.
The project argues for the, through art, un-covering of the deviating, forbidden, segregated, or otherwise coerced to undercover transgress, but also for the uncompelled removed and recondite, self-induced self-disappearance. A number of core questions regarding power and abuse are addressed, whilst the non-disclosing covering is recognized as a feasible political strategy. The intention is to allow art practice to sustain a discussion on the recondite in different social, cultural and political terms.
cloth departs from the installation filt (under cover) that was premiered April 2011 at Moderna Museet in Stockholm, hereby recurrently and in different ways reshaped as to re-cover/uncover the covering of the female gesture.
Choreography Cristina Caprioli
Performers Emelie Johansson, Cilla Olsen and other ccap collaborators
Photography and slideshow Håkan Larsson
Film and editing Madeleine Lindh
Graphic design Eleonora Bergendal
cloth live and cloth interactive are both parts of the cloth project.
The same image is inserted into a soap, here constitutive to the subject of this choreography. The image can only be brought to display if the soap is consumed, which in turn consumes the image.
The soap is an object we use to clean our (naked) skin, thus an object that has a hygienic function with sensual/erotic triggering effect. The sweeping motion of the soap manifests a choreography, performed by our bodies in the intimacy of a daily context. This soap, which contains, or rather ‘is’ a choreography, proposes a different understanding of both image and choreography; namely that of a material object which, when set in motion (used), is perceived literally through consummation, moreover, by the dissipation of its very materiality. In other words, this soap embodies a utility object with a clear function, through which usage choreography (and its image) can be owned and consumed, yet never retained, whereby it turns into a ‘thing’.
This soap-choreography-thing challenges the ever so often preconceived divide between the given tangible materiality and value of the utility object and the ephemeral uselessness of the art subject. To instead suggest that the soap and choreography are equally tangible and at the same time equally ephemeral, since both may be purchased, held and used (and here it is suggested that spectatorship implicates ‘usage’), as well as ‘things’ that can be perceived but never retained.
The same image is interwoven into the fabric of a number of rags/dishcloths, here constitutive to this choreography. The image is brought to display when the rag is utilized, which in turn displaces the image.
The rag is an object we use to clean other objects in our surrounding, moreover, as device distancing our hand from the dirt to be swiped away. The image interwoven in the rug is here claimed to emerge by the moves occurring between the protective, surface of the rug and its function, in other words between hand and dirt – by a choreography of domestic gestures performed by the sweeping motion of cleaning, whilst recurrently folding and squeezing the rug.
The intention is to propose the merging of image and choreography in terms of the interweaving of a subject of art with an object (here a utility object), which (the subject), when used (consumed) by the rubbing of its hosting surface against targeted dirt, turns the hosting object into a ‘thing’ in motion.
In turn, RUG sustains that through this rubbing motion, both user and image/choreography gain a new (joint) materiality, moreover gain a different (intra-dependent) mediality.
RAG exposes the need for trans-medial transferences between tool, action and target for the subject at stake, or rather any subject, to be mediated or for it to mediate itself; namely the need for prosthesis. Whereby choreography and response – performed by the subject in action, will be perceived neither by sight, nor touch, but rather by ‘usage’. More so, it sustains that any subject of art may be purchased, used and jointly performed but never be held onto and retained.
Furthermore, RAG claims that, when interwoven into an object (then ‘thing’) and performed between the (cleaning) gestures of the viewer (at the same time performer and user/consumer) and the surface to be cleaned, choreography dwells into the thin divide between dirt and the idea of non-dirt – which may insinuate a relation to the infamous notion of ‘pure dance’ (Swedish ‘ren dans’/clean dance), yet in fact, if we allow for a daring volt of thought, questions the very idea of non-dirt, as well as describes the ‘most congenial place of taking place’ of choreography, namely; the interstice between a given gesture and the idea of a potentially alternative gesture.
Finally, RAG suggests choreography as event/thing that self-withdraws from sight, gives up its territory, gains trans-mediality, gains utility value, merges with a prosthesis, dwells between one surface and the next, resists the notion of purity, and whilst committed to rubbing, folding and squeezing and then rides along the ordinary routines of domestic life, whilst entertaining the idea of an elsewhere – between tangible dirt and imaginary (otherwise) dirt.
The subjects of SOAP and RAG are disappearance and consumerism. Both challenge the notion of choreography as an ephemeral event with no sustainable materiality, thus that we neither can grasp nor keep, as well as the idea of photography as an image of enduring materiality capable to cease the moment and thereby can be owned and preserved.
SOAP promotes choreography as that which emerges by the disappearance of its own materiality, which subject is performed (and preserved) by its own disappearance. RAG sustains choreography as the motion between prosthesis, action and response, whereby the subject dwells into the interstice between dirt and the idea of otherwise dirt.
Finally; both RAG and SOAP believe that dirt and ideas, art, images, ordinary moves, domestic routines, subjects, objects, things and otherwise thinglinessess all operate by the continuously intertwining and transferring moves of choreography. Here, there and elsewhere.
The crawling figure is copied onto several transparent overhead sheets assembled in a pile. The sheets are meant to be superimposed maps, magazines, texts and other colorful images, which the see-through figure inhabits and crawls beyond. Audiences may take home the transparent overhead image free of charge, and superimpose it to their private memorabilia, where the figure will continue to crawl on and trespass different scenarios. The image is printed also as see-through poster, that superimposed to a wall, corner, window or any other large surface, will continue to allow the female figure to crawl away from any given scenarios.
The same image, now unrecognizably small, is tattooed onto small pieces of skin-like pink rubber (fake pigskin?) piled up in disorder. The figure can hardly be depicted and her motion escapes the viewer’s gaze, whilst she crawls into the materiality of the rubber itself. The image, now inscribed into the (skin) rubber, gains a tangible materiality to be perceived by touch rather than sight. Up to the viewer to decide whether it will be an abusive or otherwise touch. Audiences may take home the skin piece free of charge, and use it as a mouse pad, teapot pad, etc.
The subjects of interest of TRANS_pile and SKIN_pile are borderline gaze and borderline touch, in other words the sudden and unruly shifts occurring between empathic and abusive response. The two piles suggest that an art object always is a manipulative subject playing off, or rather triggering the viewers’ erotic, often abusive desire (which uncompelled objectifies its subject), but that also stimulate the viewers’ sense of ethics, whereby a reciprocal affirmation of subjectivity occurs – in this case between the beholder and the female figure and her escaping move.
The piles challenge the notion of choreography as media-specific immaterial event that the viewer neither can grasp nor keep, to instead sustain the trans-mediality, trans-modality and tangible iterability of its subject. Moreover, they claim choreography to be capable to endure its subject whilst self-withdrawing from sight and giving up for affect. The piles admit the ambiguous seductive traits of the figure and by that directly target both choreography and photography at large. In other words, they admit that both choreography and photography operate between the desire to be watched, touched (and touch), i.e. consumed, used, even abused, and at the same time their resistance to touch, to gaze and any other appropriative gesture, not least by the self-withdrawing moves, whereby the image leaves the scene for elsewhere.