Friday, October 5, 2012


Bridging the aesthetics of quilting and the process of traditional film editing, Sabrina Gschwandtner’s “Sunshine and Shadow” exhibit at LMAK Projects gallery provides viewers with stories laced into unconventional textiles. The five-piece show consists of quilts made from 16mm footage, geometrically patterned and containing images from films relating to the practice of fabric production.

Techniques of repetition, symmetry and, contrasting tones visually tie the collection together but what resonates even louder from the work is a blurring of the line between what is considered high or low art. In Camouflage, bold chevron stripes glow against bleached footage, miniscule images of a military clothing assembly line stitched together with children’s shadow puppet playtime. While reverted to still life, the frames ultimately retain their story-telling abilities as a grazing of the eye from side to side allows the viewer to see the narratives of the films unfold. Arts and Crafts, presents an obvious double entendre, a documentary that follows practitioners of American arts and crafts taken apart to create a quilt divided into quadrants, dark diamonds sitting heavily over sunset-hued concentric squares. And while the big debate pitting artistic expression versus skill may persist beyond the exhibit’s quintet, Gschwandtner’s stance is clear. For in the capsule that is her show, her greatest strength is in showing that sometimes, art and craft can be one and the same. 


  1. I feel that thesis on the "blurring" is not expanded enough. You do hint at the thesis half way with the formal description of the pieces, but I do not feel that the imagery or even the titles are investigated for their relationship to your ideas. The descriptions could have been more direct towards the “blurring of boundaries” with one simple sentence to focus on the relationship between the image, process, and object’s form. What you want to advocate for in the piece is left in shadows and leaves the viewer with a more surface level description than conceptually driven one.

  2. Great review! I really enjoyed what you mention in relation to the idea of arts and crafts, for me are totally clear. Very precise conclusion, I believe that is really important to bring these tensions in a new dialogue; questioning our current state of art, mixing local and global culture, identity and mass, or low and high art coexisting at the same time. I think that you express very well the intentions of the artist in relation to woven or embroidery techniques, but I really miss the other side of these artworks in relation to idea of visual narratives, movement and the history of cinema. At the same time, I think that the artist is really questioning the cinema as a medium. It would be great to consider these two extremes, the technique (the tradition) and the movement of images (the new genres) in a new conclusion that alludes to new arts and new crafts in our times.