Yarns was a 10-hour, interactive durational performance at Black & White Projects, as part of the Issued ID: Minority as Brand exhibition curated by Rhiannon MacFadyen in April 2016. Visitors were invited to sit, knit, reflect on both the “yarns” our culture uses to write us and how we might use those yarns to knit our own stories.
We are both the yarns that family, society, science, art, history, systems of economics, race and gender wrap us in and the knitter of our yarns. You are invited to be still, to sit and think about your yarns, to sit and listen to yarns of systems that wrap around us all, to sit and knit your yarns, to be still and imagine knitting your yarns. On April 2 you are invited to do all of the above in a silent knitting circle of two – you and another knitter of yarns.
This piece is inspired by the installation work of Modesto Covarrubias, specifically his compelling Waiting Room piece. Modesto also served as a consultant on this piece. The work was made possible by Dawn Holtan, who taught me how to knit, the knots in the beautiful yarn from Santa Fe I spent hours untangling, and historical texts I came across reading about Reconstruction.
Text excerpts are from Great Auction Sale of Slaves at Savannah, Georgia, March 2-3, 1859, New York Anti-Slavery Society, 5 Beekman St.The Mulatto in the United States: including a study of the role of mixed-blood races throughout the world, Edward Byron Reuter, 1918. Killers of the Dream, Lillian Smith 1949.
Photos by Rhiannon MacFadyen