Assemble explores textile art as a political medium in Chicago
Turner Prize-winning architecture collective Assemble descends upon Chicago with ‘Tufting Gun Tapestries’, an exhibition showcasing a fertile culture of craft. The heart of the show features textile experiments produced by Assemble and multidisciplinary artist Duval Timothy, in collaboration with Demond Melancon and the Material Institute in New Orleans. Co-founded between London-based Assemble and Tasmania-based Museum of Old and New Art, the Material Institute aims to provide free or affordable space, tools, and professional guidance to students in the city.
Tufting Gun Tapestries transforms the Logan Center Gallery into an active site of learning and production through the investigation of an ancient carpet-making technique, reimagined with contemporary tufting equipment.
‘Tufting Gun Tapestries draws from both the long and storied history of textile art as a political medium,’ says Logan Center exhibitions director and curator Yesomi Umolu. ‘Assemble’s collaborative, participatory approach to highlight both the social and spatial possibilities of fabric.’
Known as a multidisciplinary collective with a civic-minded, collaborative process, Assemble builds on an ongoing interest in alternative education and spatial practices through the exhibition. Also featured in the project is attention to one of the Material Institute’s founding teachers Big Chief Demond Melancon, a contemporary artist and performer known for his meticulous hand-sewn beadwork. As part of programming for the exhibition, Melancon and his students from the Material Institute will come to Chicago to lead a series of workshops at the Logan Center.
Tufting Gun Tapestries is Assemble’s first exhibition in the city of Chicago. Taking place at the University of Chicago’s Logan Center for the Arts until 27 October, the exhibition will coincide with ‘...and other such stories,’ this year’s edition of the Chicago Architecture Biennial on view at the Chicago Cultural Center until 5 January 2020 — also curated by Umolu along with Sepake Angiama and Paulo Tavares. §