Sunday, July 04, 2010

Project Doll House another craft as social practice project

Sharing food and work Lola Sevilla and kids

Maria Perez y Vidita

Paula Barragan, Josie Caceres, Caro Vasconez y Lola Solis

Paula y su Bella

Crafts as social practice or crafts in the expanded field is what I would call this project I have been immersed in since 2007. With the collaboration of artist and dancer Josie Caceres, we have created various sewing groups out of our need of getting together, recuperating a feminine space of talk and sharing, and our love for socially based sewing. At first we did not mind very much what we were creating, in terms of object. We were not interested in creating objects devoid of their context. We were interested in generating sharing and warmth among women in the first place. So the first project was "Regalos" or "Gifts" which was done in the context of Al-Zurich Festival 2007 with women from the South of Quito. Then we created the 30 x 30 project asking women from everywhere to participate making a 30 by 30 centimeter square somehow autobiographical, we merged with artist Andrea Sica from Uruguay and her "Belly button project" joining together our squares and sending them off to Uruguay to be joined with some more. Most women were not artists, most are dedicated sewers or knitters in their own right.
Meanwhile we also created another sewing group "Hilando fino" in the coast of Ecuador within the context of Solo con Natura, an artist residency in 2009.
Our last project was proposed by artist Paula Barragan who has been a lively part of "Costurrika" a sewing group among artists in the North of Quito. We have been getting together since 2007 in different houses, sharing food, conversation and lately our dolls. In fact "Doll House" has been a very challenging project in terms of sewing, time and dedication. Some of the women invited to make a doll have not been part of the sewing group experience so many have gone solo in their sewing journey. Other have invited other people to join them in the making. Anyway the making of the craft object in this case is not an authors alone practice, it is a community practice and is in such in which it attains content and meaning. Conversations range from topics as varied as love, sex, kids, marriage, partnership, feminist based politics, art, etc.
Food we have shared ranges from bread and cheese to wine and other delicacies. laughter and lots of sharing. Now the extended community joins us in our seances that happen everyday in El Conteiner in Quito Ecuador. (I join them by skype)