Hrafnhildur Arnardóttir / Shoplifter | Fathoms II
Como, 30 July 2019 – Born from great love, like all passionate endeavours, MINIARTEXTIL’s twenty-ninth edition will transform, as always, autumnal Como into the epicentre of international fibre art.
2020 will be a special year, coinciding with the first thirty years of the event. Thirty years since the beginning, in 1991, when the mini-textiles were unveiled before a curious audience at the Chiostrino di Santa Eufemia in Como. So much has happened since then, yet those small artworks still represent the heart of the exhibition today, albeit sharing the stage alongside large installations created by important international artists.
With such an important birthday on the horizon, the 2019 edition could not go unnoticed. Thus, beginning with the title of the new edition of Miniartextil, POP UP, the organisers sought to welcome unique and special artistic suggestions, dividing the exhibition, as usual, into the MAXI and MINI sections, located within the historic sites of the former Church of San Francesco and the former Church of San Pietro in Atrio, in Como.
SHOPLIFTER, born to the name Hrafnhildur Arnardóttir, is an artist at the forefront of the entire contemporary art collective. The New York resident will simultaneously present her artworks at Miniartextil and the 58th Venice Biennale, representing her native country, Iceland, a nation celebrated in one of the most interesting pavilions. On Giudecca Island, at Spazio Punch, anyone who visits Chromo Sapiens, the immersive installation she created, is captured in a cave created with extensions of synthetic hair. Visitors entering the space, united in a colour explosion, are challenged to probe their inner beings through stimulation of the senses which is created precisely by the colours.
This is not the only example of collaboration between Miniartextil and the Venice Biennale; in the past, several artists who passed along the shores of Lake Como then landed in the Lagoon. This was the case for Maria Lai, who exhibited in Como in 2004 and 2015 and whose genius was continuously celebrated by the 2017 Biennale, and El Anatsui, who exhibited at Miniartextil on two occasions and was awarded the Golden Lion in 2015, as well as the Chinese conceptual artist, Liang Shaoji. Lastly, the case of Joel Andrianomearisoa, who exhibited in Como in 2017 and was called upon to represent his nation, Madagascar, in 2019.
However, Shoplifter will have equally famous travel companions. She will be joined by the Japanese master, Akio Hamatani whose brilliant work created with rayon outside the Spazio Mantero already made him a protagonist in 2006.
Other artists from Japan include Naoe Okamoto, Takaaki Tanaka and Yasuaki Onishi. The latter will break up the spaces of the former Church of San Francesco with Edge of Space, featuring inflatable structures measuring four metres high.
If anyone can remember the majestic purple waterfall created by Manuel Ameztoy that adorned the grand staircase in the Villa Olmo, they won’t be surprised to re-encounter this important Argentine artist whose artworks ennoble the cheapest textile on the market, non-woven fabric. On the occasion of the new edition of Miniartextil, he offers Flying Carpet, an aerial mosaic built with 14160 strings of non-woven fabric.
Other artists exhibited include Ashley V. Blalock, an American who creates large-scale crochet installations, and Hannah Quinlivan from Canberra, who created artworks where the wire mesh meets neon lights. Not to mention Cordula Hofman Molis, Susan White, and Franca Sonnino – a friend and contemporary of Maria Lai who is considered one of the finest Italian fibre artists.
The representative of narrative art, Gianni Nieddu, will propose Police, a work based on fingerprints.
An international jury met last May to select the 54 anticipated mini-textiles for the 2019 edition. Alongside these, a further 30 mini-textiles were selected to be the protagonists of a singular exhibition beyond the scope of Miniartextil thanks to a far-reaching cultural project carried out in collaboration with the Departments of Culture and Commerce of the Municipality of Como.
The International Jury was composed of:
Clarita Di Giovanni, President, critic and film director
Guy Boyet, French journalist
Giovanni Berera, curator and art historian
Pia Ferrari, critic and art historian
Mimmo Totaro, artist and co-founder of Miniartextil with Nazzarena Bortolaso
Now in its third edition, the 2019 Sponga Award – recognising artists under 35 selected following a call for artists – was conferred to Giulio Locatelli; born in Bergamo in 1993, he realises his creations at Spazio Fase, located in the former Cartiere Pigna in Alzano Lombardo, devoting himself exclusively to strands of thread and the slow flow of time dictated by the action of knotting.
AROUND THE EXHIBITION
Growing attention and interest in our educational area: alongside the activities dedicated to schools groups of all ages, to whom ad hoc workshops will be offered in addition to the usual guided tours, there is the long-awaited appointment with MINIARTE on weekends, in a format dedicated to families. An intelligent tool that allows children and parents to encounter the world of contemporary art. In 2019, thanks to new collaborations, the event will be enriched with workshops and appointments with artists.
A very important collaboration was consolidated in 2019 with Confindustria Como: thanks to this synergy, one of the most important events on the Como calendar will be organised on October 15th 2019. As part of the exhibition, in the former Church of San Francesco, the comON 2019 fashion show will take place, the flagship project of the Confindustria Como textile industry group. In 2018, a successful collaboration was forged between comON and Miniartextil that resulted in a brilliant achievement on the occasion of Première Vision in Paris in an unprecedented dialogue between contemporary art, higher education and fashion – the undisputed principles of comON. TESS, the Como-based magazine published by the Seesab publishing group, dedicated to fashion and glamour and the voice of the textile production sector, will also be presented on the same evening.
Ancillary events to the exhibition will take place in October and November in collaboration with Como’s important cultural institutions, such as the Silk Museum and the Aldo Galli Academy of Fine Arts – IED.
There is also important news regarding ticketing: once the usual entrance tickets have been confirmed, unaltered for seven years, from 2019 every Thursday from 5:00 pm to 7:00 pm visitors can access Miniartextil, taking advantage of a reduced-price ticket. A way to allow greater accessibility to the world of art and culture.
POP UP – MINIARTEXTIL 2019
COMO, 29 September – 17 November 2019
The Former Church of San Francesco – The Former Church of San Pietro in Atrio
Tuesday – Sunday 11:00 am – 7:00 pm
Opening Saturday 28 September at 7:00 pm at the Former Church of San Francesco
+39 031.4492481 – +39 320.0770087