Muscle Fiber: Textile Installation at Freeman Space

Two of the Textile Arts Center’s very own, Lynn Hunter and Hannah Schultz, have been working on an ongoing textile installation at the Freeman Space in Greenpoint BK as part of Abreaction 2: Muscle Memory in the Middle East and Caucasus, an interesting exhibition that investigates how muscle movement is influenced by memory during the creative process.

Muscle Fiber—created by Lynn, Hannah and Jess Rees using various fiber types and techniques—hangs in the front window of the gallery and will morph into new forms throughout the course of the exhibition.

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The installation will be up from now to July 23rd during which the ladies will be continuously evolving the work as they each internalize the main theme of the exhibition: muscle memory, or more specifically, “abreaction”, defined as “the extraction of memory stored within a muscle, resurfaced through kinetics and physical movement, of which the individual was previously unaware”.

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When you think about it, using textiles as a medium to express something like abreaction makes total sense—as their artist statement says, textiles are like muscles because they both “have the ability to expand, contract and hold memories.” I know I’ve personally experienced this “reclamation of memory” as I’ve weaved or knitted, once my hands have learned the pattern of the making, my brain—less dedicated to motor function—was free to wander into my memory, and soon the repetitiveness of the looping action in my hands led to repetitive reflection of memories—cycling from past to present and back again. Thread by thread (occasionally I’d miss one or two) the resulting piece was no doubt a reflection of these thought-patterns.

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Thread by thread, the final installment of Muscle Fiber will serve as documentation of the Lynn, Hannah and Jess’s movement as they reflected upon the work in the exhibit in addition to their own memories.

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Join artists Lynn, Hannah and Jess in a talk/muscle memory workshop at the space this Thursday, July 17th starting at 6:30pm!

If you can’t make the talk, be sure to stop by the gallery or peek into the front windows if you are in Greenpoint—you might even catch a glimpse of the morphing installation in action! A closing party will be held July 23rd from 7-10pm.

Gallery details:
155 Freeman Street, Brooklyn, NY
G to Greenpoint Ave / between Franklin and Manhattan Avenue
July 10–July 23, 2014 /  Mon–Thurs 12–7P, Friday–Saturday 2–7P

MORE ON THE EXHIBITION:

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Abreaction 2: Muscle Memory in the Middle East and the Caucasus
an exhibition by Caroline Partamian (independent curator) and Isabella Bruno (designer)

Artists: Bassel Al-Madani (Syria), Samer Almadani (Syria), Angel Deradoorian (Armenia), Ibrahim Ahmed (Egypt), Shadi Ghadirian (Iran), Lynn Hunter (US), Jess Rees (US), Hannah Schultz (US).

Located at 155 Freeman Street in Greenpoint, the exhibition continues the Muscle Memory series initiated by Partamian, digging deeper into the concept of “abreaction” by working with artists who have a family history in refugee, revolution, civil war, or genocide. “Abreaction” is the extraction of memory stored within a muscle, resurfaced through kinetics and physical movement, of which the individual was previously unaware. Partamian asks, “How does becoming conscious of their kinetic movement and families’ memories while creating their artwork affect the process and outcome of the work?” While artists have “abreaction” in mind, the design of the exhibition furthers it with labels and signage that require visitors to do repetitive movements, bringing the unconscious into the foreground.

A textile artwork by Lynn Hunter, Jess Rees, and Hannah Schultz will evolve over the course of the exhibition in the gallery windows, drawing reference to the reclamation of memories that are stored indefinitely in our muscles. While the curatorial theme is largely performative, artists who produce non-ephemeral forms of art are asked to explore it. Artists Bassel Al-Madani (of the band “Bassel and the Supernaturals”) in collaboration with his bandmate Phillip Anderson, and Angel Deradoorian (formerly of “The Dirty Projectors”) will present sound works, while Ibrahim Ahmed, Samer Almadani, and Shadi Ghadirian will show large two-dimensional works.

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