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Framed
March 09, 2015

A Fine Thread

Text by Sitanshi Talati-Parikh

Find out how thread can have a deep metaphorical meaning at the ongoing exhibition at Espaces Louis Vuitton

How does a weave become a work of art? Not just in beautiful clothes, or in the Godharis of Maharashtra exhibition, but in the way Espaces Louis Vuitton celebrates new and contemporary artworks using the medium of thread. The Espaces of Munich, Paris and Tokyo have been powered with an exhibition that lasts the first half of 2015.

Curated by Michiko Kono, eight international artists take part in the group show, Le fil rouge which translated means ‘the red thread’. Each Espace showcases the work of four of the eight artists, referencing the theme and the other artists’ works in a three-way dialogue. The series opens with embroidery-based works in Munich to site-specific installations in Paris and ends with a summary of the theme in Tokyo.

Referencing the images from the gallery above, Japanese artist, Chiharu Shiota’s work is an installation of lightbulbs suspended in space and entangled by thread, switching on and off; exploring her interest in life and death. Italian artist, Tatiana Trouvé’s installation of 250 suspended plumb lines hovering barely above ground level struggling (and failing to) achieve a vertical stance – suggest the indecipherability between the absurd and the rational, the possible and the unimaginable. In his new film, the Belgian Hans Op de Beeck, employs puppets exploring contemporary society’s complexities and universal questions of the meaning of life and mortality. His film, The Thread, will be shown at all three Espaces. The other artists are Ghada Amer, Tracey Emin, Isa Melsheimer, Michael Raedecker and Fred Sandback.

The release note remarks: ‘Unlike pencil and paint, thread is not linked to an intrinsic finality, and its materiality encourages infinite artistic expressions and explorations. Replacing the brush, thread in contemporary art is embroidered or glued onto the image carrier, and combined with paint. Canvas fragments are sewn together using thread. By stretching lengths of yarn at different scales and in varied configurations, it is employed to form sculptures, trace lines in space, reproduce architectural principles or seemingly suspend the laws of physics.’

It is essential to go back to thread as an art form, rather than a means to a fashionable end. To question the abstract nature of the medium and it’s physical place in society is to give it perspective and suggest relevance. It is also an emphatic way to revisualise the medium and possibly be inspired to suggest creative renditions that may change the face of fabric tomorrow.

Le fil rouge is showing at Espace Louis Vuitton München (Maximilianstraße 2a, 80539) until April 11, 2015; at Espace Louis Vuitton Paris (60, rue de Bassano, 75008) until May 3, 2015; and will be on at Espace Louis Vuitton Tokyo (Louis Vuitton Omotesando Bldg. 7F 5-7-5 Jingumae, Shibuya-ku) from April 8 to May 31, 2015.

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