ORNAMENT & CRIME
Tapestry, woven Jacquard fabric, 146 x 315 cm, 2023
Produced in collaboration with textile designer Katharina Jebsen (DE).
The tapestry Ornament & Crime addresses the pattern of the grid as a kind of coding system in order to capture the "ecologies" of perceptions, forms of knowledge and (in)visibilities the grid actively generates. Departing from tabular statistics, developed to monitor and rationalise sites of textile production in 18th-century France, the work traces the complex entanglements between extraction - of labour and resources - and abstraction - of human bodies and lands - within the bureaucratic form of the grid. It examines further the socio-political connections between the emergence of automation, industrialization and consumerism as well as the subsequent relationship between globalised (mass) production and colonial history. Referring to the idealistic depiction of flowers and landscapes in the 18th century Jacquard textiles - which at that time embellished interior spaces - the woven tapestry depicts a satellite image of the largest cotton belts in the world where in 2020 a discussion about labour exploitation and automation has unfolded. Seen from above the standardised plantations have become ornaments themselves - gridded patterns created by the software of industrial production.