A Guest Post by Mary Welch
The Cynthia Woods Mitchell Center for the Arts at the University of Houston is presenting a 5 day festival of arts called CounterCurrent. Suzanne Bocanegra, a Houston–born artist and a UT graduate, who lives and works in New York City, is one of the artists participating in the festival. Suzanne does performance and installation art. You can read about her on her website www.suzannebocanegra.com. She is presenting a concert called “Rerememberer” at the Eldorado Ballroom in Houston on Friday April 11. I have been asked to be the weaver for the performance. There is information about the festival on the U of H website.
On her website Suzanne describes the program:
“Rerememberer” (all the threads) is a translation of an old Danish peasant fabric into a performance / installation. I wanted to take a simple, honest textile, and blow it up into an hour of noise and unearthly atmosphere. The idea for the piece came from the realization that weavers codify their instructions on a 5 line staff – exactly how composers write music. The proportions of the thread count and the numerical ordering of the loom tie-up for the weaving pattern serve as the score and scenario for the entire installation. The weaving, the music, the lighting and the placement in space are all derived from the patterns of the original weaving.
I started with the simple idea of having a weaver weave the pattern while an accordionist plays it. I ended up adding an amateur string orchestra – fifty friends who had never played violin before – in order to get the feeling of being inside the loom. The use of amateurs refers to the folk tradition of the weaving, returning the homespun quality of the fabric to its origins.
There are photos on Suzanne’s website of the 2009 New York performance of this work. Gale Gondek was the weaver for this performance and she wrote a brief article for Weavolution. So far the only weaving information I have is the blue and white stripe pattern which has 430 ends. The warp yarns will be Brockens 8/2 cotton and the weft will be 6/1 Borgs wool. I am excited to part of this performance and of this new arts festival.