Date of this Version
Published in Hidden Stories/Human Lives: Proceedings of the Textile Society of America 17th Biennial Symposium, October 15-17, 2020. https://digitalcommons.unl.edu/tsaconf/
To think of the arts of urgency is to think about tactics for making public realities and ‘truths’. It is to ask how art and artists can express horror, suffering, collective and individual trauma with intelligence, rigour, truthfulness, integrity and ethics? In this paper I explore the role of textile as a set of practices deployed as acts of resistance, focusing on the work of Chinese artist Lin Tianmiao and the US artist collective behind the Pussyhat Project (Jayna Zweimann, Krista Suh and Kat Doyle). Both deploy a tactics of spatiality and collaborative action to produce discourse around female disempowerment and negation. I suggest that these are acts of truth-telling through textiles which purposefully use feminine intimacy as a feminist strategy to produce an inviting spacious rubric. This is a form of visual activism that strategically locates textile practices in applying pressure on the histories and urges an answer to the question: what are the politics of reckoning?