17 December 2013

Lost gloves

In her series "Edward Higgins White", Italian artist Alek O. takes "found" gloves, unravels them, and stitches the yarn onto canvas.

Does she use just some of the yarn, or all? How does she decide what goes where - is it random, is it planned? - that's the kind of detail you don't completely and clearly get in the description of the work:  she "collected several lost gloves on the streets of the city. Following the order of finding, unravelled and embroidered their threads on to canvas. The result is a composition of rows in chronological order of the discoveries."
Edward Higgins White, III (2011; 42.5 x 72cm)
The project was started during a residency in Helsinki and continued in London.
VIII in the series will be at the London Art Fair (2012; 40.5 x 70 cm)
"In her work, Alek O. often takes a particularly significant object of her personal or family history and makes the effort to destroy it by craft procedures, in order to reduce it to some regularity that ennobles it. She tries to give an image to memories." These significant objects embody the "magic contact" principle "which postulates the transfer of ownership from an object or a body to another through physical contact". A second essence in her work is "the circularity or conceptual reiteration that turns a work of art into a perfect closed system"; read more about that here.
Why the series title "Edward Higgins White"? He was the first astronaut to walk in space (1965) - while he was outside, a spare thermal glove floated out through the hatch, only to be lost in space.

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