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February Issue 2005

Davidson College in Davidson, NC, Offers Exhibit of Social Tapestries

The Van Every/Smith Galleries at Davidson College in Davidson, NC, is presenting the exhibition, Threads of Conflict, on view through Feb. 25, 2005.

Threads of Conflict focuses on narrative tapestries that illustrate social unrest and the oppression of indigenous peoples by political and military forces. Works from South America, the Middle East, and Southeast Asia weave together in this exhibition to expose the unsettling global reality of violence and subjugation. The major examples of this practice that will be featured in Threads of Conflict are Chilean arpilleras (from the collection of Marjorie Agosín), Afghan war rugs (from the collection of Kevin Sudeith of warrug.com), and Hmong story cloths (Hmong ABC in St. Paul, MN, http://www.hmongabc.com).

The creators (most of whom are anonymous) of the arpilleras, war rugs and story cloths, are enabled through their art to record and convey the personal impact of tyranny to the world at large. In addition, an overriding sense of connectivity is present in these tapestries. Though these works have been created by disparate groups who have nothing in common in terms of geography and culture, each of them turn to fabric and thread to fashion indelible images of human cruelty and the consequences of war.

This exhibition is curated by Brad Thomas, Director and Curator of the Van Every/Smith Galleries and is accompanied by a full-color brochure featuring the essay Inhabiting Memory: Cloth, Memory, and Representation by Marjorie Agosín, with Betty Jean Craige.

Agosín will present a lecture on the arpillera movement in Chile from 1974 - 1994 in the Semans Lecture Hall on the evening of Feb. 24, 2005 at 7pm. Agosín grew up in Santiago de Chile and years later returned to her homeland secretly collecting the works of the apilleristas in order to preserve their legacy for future generations. Her humanitarian work was the subject of two films, Scraps of Life and Threads of Love; the former garnered the prestigious Peabody Award. She is a Professor of Spanish at Wellesley College and an internationally recognized human rights activist who has authored over twenty books.

For more information check our NC Institutional Gallery listings or call the gallery at 704/894-2519.

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