Friday, January 25, 2008

Ilze Aviks

I'm sitting in the Fibers departement computer lab, researching Ilze Aviks, a most remarkable artist. I wanted to share her work and her wisdom. Ilze's work focuses on three major concepts. the first is the experience of cloth and fiber art, rather than the discriptive/desplayed. when desplayed, Ilze's peices are not stretched, ironed or framed--- they are allowed to behave in the natural way of fabric..... hanging loosely and a little bit wrinkled.
The second point of focus is this concept of "women's work," what excatly is that? historically? traditionally? right now? stitches, recipes, cycles. this all manifests in her pieces quite clearly, screen prints of buttons, burnt away patches and marks made by leaving an iron on the fabric.

the third focus is "the politics of mark-making in contemporary art" who are the artists, are there some who are more entitled to be artists than others and what does it take for us to refer to something as art rather than handywork or craft?

I'm feeling really lucky that I happened to pick Ilze for my paper because her work addresses so much that I've been thinking about these days. Despite the goodness in school--- especially this school, I sometimes wonder about the ways that school work shapes and effects my own personal work. There is such a devide, sometimes I feel like everything I'm learning is opening all sorts of new doors which would never be otherwise opened. And other times I feel absolutely crushed by all the imput and I wonder, as we all go thru day after day after day without really stopping, what am I loosing to make space for all the new. We have such a culture of discarding and replacing, it surely makes it's way into the academic art world. I love outsider art beyond all others and I think that a lot of why I love it so much is because there is no shame in using the same motifs and shapes and stitches over and over. Life should be the ingredients for an artist's work and I think that these "uneducated artists" or outsiders sometimes do a better job with being truthful in their work.

So, all of that from Ilze's work. it's incerdibly beautiful, it makes you think about all the things which are just under the surface.

it's a lovely sunny day in savannah. I'm finally getting over a nasty cold that almost everyone in my house and departement has! Riva needs a bath, so that is next on the list. I'm really not sure how we're going to get her into our clawfoot tub! Ah yes, life's little adventures....

love to you all.


mgl studio said...

The perfect artist for you. I love how she incorporates all the things that really happen into her work. One of my painting teachers always said "Work with that mistake! It may be the best thing that has ever happened to your work!!!

Cathy said...

Molly, your comments about what we lose when we rush to add the new really hit home with me. I am always very eager to move through and on. I love the challenge and excitement of something new. I feel impatient when things aren't moving, changing, growing. There may still be work to do with those "old" things, but I often find myself avoiding what's present in order to make something new happen. I need to remind myself to enjoy really working on what is in front of me instead of leaving it in search of the new. Thank you for highlighting this.

Cathy said...

Another thing - - One thing I've learned about the new doors we go through in life. You really don't lose the old. It may kind of go underground for awhile. What emerges over time, however, is a richer, multi-layered amalgamation of the old and new. Hard to see from your vantage point, but really clear from mine. I love how you are really reflecting on your learning.