It is hard to know what the German-born weaver Anni Albers would make of the digital exhibitions solutions we use today. While much of her thinking celebrated the importance of materials, Albers also lived in a very real world that saw creative problem solving as fundamental. Digital exhibitions offer accessibility during our time of curtailed movement; but inevitably also flatten and even erase some of the most moving (sometimes literally) moments of textile viewing. To reread Anni Albers in 2021 is a humbling reminder of the extent of upheaval and loss she lived through, while producing work we continue to use as a touch stone today.
Image: Installation view, In a Slow Manner. Justin Morin, How to drape the surface of Saturn, 2018. Printed silk, chromed steel
The textile exhibition In a Slow Manner borrows its title from Albers’ writing and is currently on view online and in person at Maison du Danemark in Paris through March 28. Danish curator Henriette Noermark has brought together ten French and Danish artists and designers whose works cuts across the familiar categories of sculpture, furniture, as well as hand and industrial weaving and printing: Ditte Hammerstrøm, Tove Storch, Astrid Krogh, Grethe Sørensen, Margrethe Odgaard, Valerie Collart, Justin Morin, Anne Fabricius Møller, Sofie Genz, Vibeke Rohland.
Image: Installation view, In a Slow Manner. Vibeke Rohland, Grethe Sørensen, Margrethe Odgaard
Also drawing inspiration from Albers’ writing, Jessica Hemmings’ online exhibition essay “The Factors We May Need for Times to Come” attempts to offer a bridge between the material, first-hand exhibition experience, which for many viewers may not be possible with pandemic travel restrictions, and online viewing.
In a Slow Manner will run until 28 March 2021. To find out more about the exhibition, and to view more related content, articles, and videos, including an immersive virtual tour, visit the Maison du Danemark website.
Jessica Hemmings is a regular contributor to Selvedge Magazine. She is currently Professor of Craft & Vice-Prefekt of Research at HDK-Valand, University of Gothenburg, Sweden and the 2020-2021 Rita Bolland Fellow at the Research Centre for Material Culture, the Netherlands.