Sailing Craft Installation/Figure
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Text description provided by the architects. Even as the pandemic brought public life to a halt in Los Angeles, construction continued, unabated, and was considered essential activity. Shimmering veils of green, white, orange and black building textiles lie across the city, their presence signaling many things: perhaps a future shelter for those who have none or, more often, a simple indication for the public to keep clear. Often referred to as construction tarps or debris netting, these tough, porous, colorful textiles have inadvertently become a near-permanent facade aesthetic thanks to the ubiquity of construction in the city of Los Angeles.
Sailing Crafts is an architectural installation made from these textiles, transforming Craft Contemporary’s courtyard into an unexpected pocket park. The street wall, covered in a net of unremarkable green debris, poses as another construction site on Wilshire Boulevard. Yet the base of this wall opens into a deep canopy, producing a generous, shaded porch that invites the public inside the courtyard. Beyond this threshold is a courtyard within a courtyard, draped in long pleated panels of white debris nets suspended thirty feet high.
In this shaded interior space, pleated fabric creates various sheer and textural effects while playfully separating to make way for chance intersections with existing courtyard features. The different spaces perform an act of veiling and revealing in constant evolution and unfolding as one navigates the courtyard, and the careful stitching and assembly of the textile panels juxtapose references to domesticity, the body , to clothing and ornamentation alongside typical building practices. Both playing on these material associations and shaking them up, the installation highlights the daily and invisible materiality of the changing landscape of Los Angeles in order to question it.
The M&A x Craft Contemporary partnership in the museum courtyard transforms into a public venue for a series of summer events that bring artists and storytellers together in dialogue, with a renewed focus on issues of urban change, work practices and l community engagement. At the end of the day, Sailing Crafts aims to spark an interest in the overlooked materiality of our built environment, bringing expert and non-expert audiences together in conversation about the material culture of Los Angeles.
M&A and Craft Contemporary are grateful for the support of the Graham Foundation for Advanced Studies in the Fine Arts. Veil Craft is also supported by the Pasadena Art Alliance.