It is a great honor to receive a Jury nomination in this Linen Biennial competition, alongside very creative and talented artists from highly textile countries.
The show will also be presented throughout Poland, including its participation within the Biennial of Small Woven Forms. It will also travel to Slovakia and Hungary until the end of 2015.
“El diablo“. Hand embroidery, paper appliqué, and quilting. 54 X 40 cm. 2014
Linen was brought to Costa Rica during the Spanish conquista, and as a child it was very common to watch Mother embroider her tablecloths and napkins. She would give me remnants to entertain myself while she embroidered, and I fantasised by making dolls and puppets—one of which was the devil (“El diablo”), a mask used in the Boruka indigenous culture—all out of imported linen. Thus, the present artwork represents my childhood memories as well as the mestizo tradition still in existence: “El diablo”, which in my case is made with unfinished linen napkins from 55 years ago.
Within world events related to textile art, biennial shows normally introduce new tendencies and techniques to this vanguard art and, thus, choosing participants is done by way of a strict qualifying jury. Although it is regrettable that many biennales have had to permanently shut their doors due to lack of funds and political apathy for artistic and cultural events, the second edition of CONTEXTILE in Guimarães, Portugal started this month with the city municipal promise to support all side activities surrounding the main international show.
Therefore, from 26 July through 11 October, Costa Rica will be one of the participating countries in CONTEXTILE 2014, with the presence of two great artists: Alessandra Sequeira and Silvia Piza-Tandlich. Sequeira is a visual artist and participates with her new passion: hand painted silk, representing a first success within fierce competition since she is one of the 50 artists who were chosen out of several hundred proposals.
By contrast, Silvia Piza-Tandlich has ample biennale and exposition experience throughout the world, including the 14th Łódź Triennial of Tapestry in Poland last year.
CONTEXTILE stands out by its proposed interaction between artists, creators, industry, community, and the city of Guimarães, which intends to strengthen the economy through innovation, creativity and appreciation of the textile identities of participating territories. Within the frame of this biennale’s social character, Silvia Piza-Tandlich offers artwork that is interactive with the public: “Bastion of Wisdom” is a double-sided piece showing hand embroidered proverbs in nine languages. She explains that refrains and proverbs exist in all cultures and become popular wisdom, with homologous concepts from language to language. The piece also has metal from tee-light candles, representing the whimsical human culture of wishing, and knowing.
Silvia Piza-Tandlich: http://galeriaoctagono.com
Collective exhibit: WORD INTEGRATED TO ART BOOK.
Exhibition curated by ACAV (Costa Rican Visual Artists Association).
Paraninfo auditorium, UNED University, Costa Rica
April 30 to May 15, 2014
Silvia Piza-Tandlich. “Hypotyposis”. 12″ X 12″ X 4″.
A book of remnants.
Photo: Doreen Bákit
…”In 2006 I read the entire Pern series by Anne McCaffrey, which is a textile dragon world. Such wonders! Images of this fantastic world remind me of the enchanted forest in The Sleeping Beauty by Charles Perrault, with ivy and intertwined, “gnarrrrrrled brrrrambles and bussssshes”—the way my mom read the story. Frankly, I never knew what gnarrrrrrled brrrrambles and bussssshes meant, but it sounded serious…”
…”En el 2006 leí toda la serie de dragones de Pern, de Anne McCaffrey y quedé impactada. ¡Qué maravilla! Quedé con imágines del planeta Pern, lo mismo que las imágenes del bosque encantado de La Bella Durmiente, con hiedras y “zarzas sarmentosasssss y torcidasssss…” (así me leía mamá el cuento y francamente, nunca supe qué eran zarzas sarmentosassss, pero sonaba serio)…”
Silvia Piza – Tandlich
In 2013, Poland became the stage for dozens of textile art activities, most of them associated with the 14th International Triennial of Tapestry in Łódź, while other independent shows also took advantage of the textile atmosphere already prevalent, to make their mark.
Presented from March to mid-May in Warsaw, “The Splendour of Textiles” stands out as an independent landmark exhibit not only for being a Polish retrospect of the past 70 years, but also for its display approach that allowed a better rapport and understanding of what the audience should be expected to experience. This exhibit is, also, representative of the struggles and accomplishments of textile creators in Poland, thereby becoming a very luring thread to touch and be touched by. Staging the exhibit at The Zachęta National Gallery of Art (short: Zachęta, one of Poland’s most notable institutions for contemporary art), ensured a certain prestance and status before the public, while inserting textile art in the Arts and Crafts movements of today, and serving as a model to other leading museums and galleries to incorporate textiles into their regular programs.
Barbara Levittoux-Świderska, Hope) 1981, spatial fabric
Warsaw is a city where its population can immerse in history and cultural events, while enjoying the greenery and beauty of more than 80 parks and recreational areas—each with palaces and monuments honoring personalities of present and past. For me, however, arriving on May 3rd (Constitution Day), allowed me the opportunity to witness parades and ceremonial acts which, together with a long city tour into historic and quaint parts of town, walked me through the annals of decades of oppressive persecution and unrest, and brought me back to Polish textile perspective.
With art being an expression of the soul, it is only natural to expect a big spark of creativity stemming from all the turmoil of constant invasions, the Warsaw Ghetto and Uprising, the horrible Nazi concentration and massacre camps, and the duress of the Soviet mandate: Prussians, Nazis, Swedes, Austrians, Hungarians, Turks, Soviets… it is wonderful that Poland could be so prolific in all matters of artistic creation despite only having peace and freedom since the fall of the USSR in 1991. Quite unfortunately, however, four years later in 1995, the Lausanne Biennale—responsible for integrating textiles into contemporary artistic expressions, and also responsible for bringing us the so-called Polish school of textile art—ceased to exist, thereby reducing textile links to mainstream art trends, venues, and markets. Bear in mind that in many places, textile art has recently suffered a setback as far as the attention received as an art genre, along with all forms of art and culture being sadly neglected by governments. This lessened interest in textiles affected Poland as well as the rest of the world, combined with the world economic crisis of late.
Mother Earth Sister Moon, Joanna Malinowska and Chrisatian Tomaszeski
The Splendour of Textiles is a magnificent compilation of Polish works dating from way back, and including “textile-behaving” contemporary expressions. Not having had the pleasure to attend any of the Lausanne International Textile Art Biennale shows where the famous Polish works were originally presented, the splendor of textiles before my eyes seemed to be a hallucination! “There are no words to describe it!” “Here is the most prestigious gallery of art in Poland, showing the most prestigious examples of textile art from the glorious days, plus what could now be considered…the School of Polish textile art of today!”
The exhibit occupied all eight halls of the Zachęta Gallery, hosting also a current version of the installation and performance, “Mother Earth Sister Moon” by Joanna Malinowska and Christian Tomaszewski, which shows a huge dismembered spacesuit modeled after Soviet cosmonaut Valentina Tereshkova’s, and alluding to the Cold War space race between the East and the West. Futuristic fashion designs accompanied this show, which, of course, feels a bit outdated if we don’t think of the Challenger and Columbia explosions, and other space disasters.
Needless to say, I so enjoyed being able to see the collection of tapestries from the 17th to the 19th century, followed by those “classic” Polish tapestries of the 1960′s and 70′s. The powerful, industrial and political textiles, and the less restrained People’s Poland Era next door included vast illustrations of folk art as well as war insignias. Rather than being a strict chronological account of Polish textiles, curator Michał Jachuła explains, “…[the exhibit] demonstrates the ideological and semantic potential of art fabrics, bringing together many works that convey a clear message, be it historical, propaganda, critical, religious, or patriotic…”
Interesting contrasts between textiles and “textile behaving” works were seen throughout the show, as well as “references to textiles”. For example, Teresa Murak’s video, “Nunnery Rags” (1988) showed the artist cleaning the floor of a nunnery while a few yards away the rags were displayed in plexiglas cases. In the same room, the film “Spycifestum 2010″ by Kobas Laksa, showed the community preparation of a flower carpet for the traditional celebration of Corpus Domini, bearing the inscription “Lord, save us: we’re going to drown!” heard often during Poland’s independence struggles.
But in my opinion, the most powerful curatorial statement was perhaps, the least detected by Western visitors since the catalog was published in Polish. In the catalog, artist Marta Kowalewska states, “… It is in order to mention a current that has been increasingly present recently on an international arena. Artists of the 21st century turn more and more to broadly construed crafts. We can observe a return to old methods of craftsmanship applied in all kinds of artistic expression. A dialogue of crafts and a modern message is born. On the other hand, skeptics cast into doubt the rebirth of popularity of textile art (which calls for focused reflection), in a world that chases flying time, where an immediate exchange of information takes place. On the other hand, we should not underrate the discipline of long-lasting creative processes seen as an antidote for commercialization, superficiality and mediocrity…”
The Splendour of Textiles was quite splendid in the number and quality of works, which was expected. In addition, since the historic value of the pieces deserved clear identification in the form of museum-like wall plaques offering visitors a lot of historic and curatorial information, the Gallery, purposely or inadvertently managed to be more in touch with its audience—not excluding a live demonstration of Julita Wójcik’s “Braided rug”, made on site by 24 volunteers. The resulting video of this activity made me realize the importance of demonstrating to the general public basic things such as how a loom operates, even in a highly textile country such as Poland. I strongly approve of this approach to offer information and increase the attention span of viewers who may not be familiarized with textiles.
All in all a wonderful experience, The Splendour of Textiles sets precedence in trying to reintegrate textiles into the world of art—the way the Lausanne Biennale did it. It would be great if other prestigious galleries and museums were to take initiative and put together a similar show. After all, the current Artist-Artisan movements should stop making the distinction between “art” and “textile art”, and textiles should not succumb in a world plagued by financial crises.
For more information, please visit the web site here
Plewka-Schmidt, The Madonna of Kruzlowa
About Silvia Piza-Tandlich
Silvia Piza-Tandlich was born in Cartago, Costa Rica in 1954 where she studied Music at the University of Costa Rica. She later became a mixed-media manualist textile creator. “Manualism” is her coined term to describe an attitude, with roots in environmental and social responsibility where an ethical and civic conduct gets developed alongside artistic creation. Silvia is self-taught in many creative fields, where she performs with very good critical eye. Her textile work shows impeccable techniques, which she suddenly breaks to go to an unpredictable side of her creative expression. As an educator, artistic creation offers her a limitless field from where to present her philosophies such as rescuing Costa Rican traditions, rescuing used materials, encouraging human diversity in all its forms, improving education, and facilitating community support networks. Within her manualism and lifestyle the artist tries to reduce excessive dependency on machines, television, consumerism, and waste. From the cultural point of view, Silvia’s eclecticism protects and enriches Costa Rican identity and, at the same time, explores and enjoys the global territory. This duality helps her to present a good role model before her students and neighbors, hoping also that its effects are exponential. Presently, Silvia’s gallery and Collective Project embrace eight women and their families, providing them with educational and income opportunities.
Anna Nawrot, No title,2013, object,manikin, ties
• 14th International Triennial of Tapestry 2013, Łódź, Poland. Central Museum of Textiles http://www.muzeumwlokiennictwa.pl/aktualna-edycja/ • 10th Art Al Vent Festival 2013 and • 9th Art Al Vent Festival 2012 (Art In the Wind), Alicante Province, Spain, August 2012; traveling exhibition to Holland in 2013.
• 11th Art Inter/National Exhibition, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA, http://www.boxheart.org January 2012.
• 6th WTA International Biennial of Contemporary Textile Art: “Air, A Vital Element”, Salon for Recyclability In Textile Art, Oaxaca, Mexico, 2011. http://www.wta-online.org
• Radio program: “Let’s Talk About Culture” http://www.rainforestradio.com 2011.
• Solo exhibit: “Metamorphosis: A New Cycle”. Textile fantasy intervention with 102 works in eleven ambiences. National Museum of Costa Rica.July-September,2010. metamorfosishabitat.com •Invited artist: Salon for Invited Artists, First International Encounter IberoAmerican Textile Network, Omar Dengo Foundation, Costa Rica. 2010. http://www.redtextilia.org
• Invited artist: “Costa Rican Textile Creation”. Cartago Municipal Museum, Costa Rica. 2010.
• Collective show: “Affiliates Exhibition”, First International Encounter IberoAmerican Textile Network, Costa Rica. 2010. http://www.redtextilia.org
• Collective show: “Women In Art”. Sophia Wanamaker Gallery, Costa Rica. 2009.
• International collaborations: “Tree of Interdependence”. Huntsville, Alabama, USA. 2009. “Abandoned Gas Station Wrap”, 2008. http://www.internationalfibercollaborative.com
• Collective show. Museum Rómulo Raggio, Argentina. 2008
• 4th Textile Art Show – Medium Size Format. Museum of Popular Art José Hernández, Buenos Aires, Argentina. 2008.
• First Conjunctions Visual Arts Biennial, Museum of Costa Rican Art, Costa Rica. 2008.
• 4th WTA Biennial of Textile Art & Design: “Man+Woman=Creation”. 2006.
TAGS: ARTÍCULOS EN INGLÉS
Size-wise, Łódź is the third city of Poland, although traditionally it has been considered the most important in textiles since the onset of the European industrial era. Without a doubt, its gigantic Central Museum of Textiles is one of the world’s largest, with 10 departments specializing in history, techniques, textile art, folk tradition, industrial textiles, fashion, education, archives, and library. Its tenth department deals with exhibits and, of course, it is responsible for staging the International Triennial of Tapestry since 1972: the largest and oldest specialized European competition.
Participation in this triennale is done only by direct invitation, or by recommendation from a country representative within the organizing committee. Once accepted, participants in this event are given carte blanche to decide on the work they wish to exhibit, with the only restriction to not be offensive to Poland’s national beliefs and traditions. Thus, the resulting show resembles a huge eclectic festival of trends which could either embrace several impressive textile pieces, or appear as an amateur out-of-context collection: the only guarantee is the obvious homage to the overall body of work by each of the artists invited to take part in it. The freedom endorsed by this triennial event allows for a unique and true expression of individuality in the fields of textile design and creation: from traditional to innovative materials and techniques, everything is possible!
The 14th Triennial of Tapestry will take place from May 6 to November 3, 2013. In addition to the main competition/exhibit there will be 86 side shows in 27 Polish cities and towns, involving a total of 667 artists from around the world—altogether an impressive number.
—Silvia Piza-Tandlich, Costa Rica
XIV Trienal Internacional de Tapices: En tamaño, Łódź es la tercera ciudad de Polonia, aunque tradicionalmente ha sido considerada la más importante en textiles desde el inicio de la era industrial Europea. Su gigantesco Museo Central de Textiles es, sin duda, uno de los mejores del mundo, con diez departamentos especializados en historia, técnicas, arte textil, tradición folklórica, textiles industriales, moda, educación y restauración, a la vez de contar con una gran colección de archivos y biblioteca. Su décimo departamento se encarga de mantener exhibiciones y, por supuesto, de realizar la Trienal Internacional de Tapices desde el año 1972, con lo cual se convierte en la competencia más antigua y grande de Europa.
La selección de artistas participantes en esta trienal se hace por medio de invitación directa, o por recomendación de representantes dentro del comité organizador. Una vez seleccionados, los participantes gozan de completa libertad para decidir cuál obra desean exponer, con la única restricción de no ofender las creencias y tradiciones nacionales de Polonia. Por esta razón, la muestra resultante parece un festival ecléctico de tendencias, el cual igual puede abrazar muchas obras textiles de alta calidad artística, como también podría resultar verse como una colección sin contexto: la única garantía es el obvio homenaje a la obra de vida de cada uno de los artistas invitados. La libertad promovida por esta trienal, deja relucir una verdadera expresión de individualidad en los campos de diseño y creación textil, pues desde materiales y técnicas tradicionales hasta la innovación, ¡todo es posible!.
La XIV Trienal Internacional de Tapices se llevará a cabo del 6 de mayo al 3 de noviembre del 2013. Además de la competencia-exhibición central, habrá 86 muestras paralelas en 27 ciudades de Polonia, donde participarán 667 artistas de todo el mundo: ¡sencillamente, un número impresionante!
—Silvia Piza-Tandlich, Costa Rica