My quilts utilize film footage from early Feminist documentaries. I retain allusions to the materials' former narratives while reworking them with my own personal footage to place them in a contemporary framework.
The source of the historical footage is the Fashion Institute of Technology (FIT), which recently de-accessioned the 16 mm films in their library. These short, educational documentaries, dated 1952 - 1982, focused on textile crafts such as crocheting, knitting, sewing, fabric dyeing, and quilting, and celebrated the women who made them.
After watching the movies many times, I cut them up and sew them together with my own, personal film footage. In processes that reference both painting and experimental filmmaking, I bleach, dye, scratch, and paint onto some of my film.
The formal logic of my sewn designs are derived from popular American quilt motifs including log cabin squares, octagonal stars, and "string quilts," wherein long, thin fabric scraps left over from other projects are cut and sewn together. The works are hung like curtains in the windows of exhibition spaces, or displayed on gallery walls via light boxes.
from: Sabrina Gschwandtner