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Montreal

Erin Manning holds a University Research Chair in Relational Art and Philosophy in the Faculty of Fine Arts at Concordia University (Montreal, Canada). She is also the director of the SenseLab

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Threadways

Exhibition: The Minor Gesture [with artists Sofiane Ouissi, Selma Ouissi and Nikolaus Gangsterer, curated by Catherine de Zegher]

MSK Ghent (Museum voor  schone kunsten) June 18- August 18  2016 *with reprisal spring 2017

Threadways explores perception and subtraction in the context of three textile works. The minor gesture introduced by the work is that of perception itself: how else can we perceive what what already there? The material technique involves a version of a technique used for drawn or pulled lace - three pieces of fabric, one silk, one cotton, and one linen piece of drawn lace - are slowly pulled and drawn over a period of several months. The work is very slow, the weave resistant. When it rips, the material is sewn with the thread that has been pulled. Drawings emerge. Lines find a certain consistency and the material takes new shape. 

In the process, one new thread is introduced across the three textiles. This red thread introduces a certain rhythm into the fabric, speculating on what cuts across perception, what interrupts or moves with the ways of art.

From the perspective of the minor gesture, what interests me here, beyond the question of perception, is the issue of subtraction. Neoliberalism is a call to add more and more. Creativity is always defined according to the newest new. There is nothing new in the work I am proposing. The technique of drawn thread is ancient, and the fabric is ubiquitous. What we see is not something new but materiality's own difference.