the final curtain

the final curtain

In conjunction with her CCBC gallery show, Corrina Hammond shares her thoughts about the performative experience of her evolving installation, Draperies to Duds. 

The installation will be on view in our gallery until January 25th, 2023. 

“the performative aspect of this exhibit does feel like a demonstration, or do I mean demo?

I’m finishing up the last panel of hand woven lace curtain, performing the continuation of the cycle. Ideally, in aid of the concept behind draperies to duds: accelerating the enactment of a textiles lifecycle, the garments would go to the charity bin.

However, needs of the gallery and artist being the reality, they will be available at retail prices. Unlike the items we see in multiples in department stores, the garments are one of a kind, and therefore perceived as items of higher value, priced higher than the vast racks of leisure wear in department stores. It’s a privilege to craft here, in the global north.  Valuable skills are retained as we continue a tradition, but it’s not a necessity, as we have outsourced production of most things we want or need.

So, why labour? To demonstrate? 

The performative aspect of the this exhibit feels like a demonstration, a protest and a critique, at odds with my first love; outfits on people, what they’re wearing and why, textiles. Throughout the exhibit I’ve mainly been thinking about labour – the who, where and why’s of production.

As stated, the performative aspect of this exhibit does feel like a demonstration, or do I mean demo?

This dichotomy has me listing other contrasts within the exhibit:

  • The curtains are distressed, but clean, new fabric conveying fresh decay.
  • We are freed up by the machines, which create other limitations
  • and forced compromises.
  • Consumerism provides a sense of control in that moment, but it’s only temporary, with lack of control looming large.
  • Material literacy is important yet undervalued.
  • A reversal of transfiguration – by making a useful item and destroying, creating another useful item, that is only somewhat useful, for a limited length of time.

And there it is, the final curtain, but not the last drape.