It was the very last day of an exhibition called Chroachym by Chrysanthi Koumianaki, as I read on the front door of the old Mentis factory - so I walked inside.
In the small booklet that served the role of a little catalogue one can read:
“The artist entered into the microcosm of the factory: dense with sounds, colours and textures. She observed the internal landscape of the small industrial space; she watched, listened and noted and with every notation, every repetition a shift occurred. The machines’ language became movement, as dancers became carriers of her linguistic game, from code to code. The game is selective and it is personal; as personal as the story of Mentis itself and their legendary brocade business from its heyday to now.”
Wonderful tassels, cords and edgings fill up the space everywhere and can be admired in midst all the industrial beauty of the old machines and tools. And there, right between the busy silk heaps, there are Koumianaki's delicate floating pieces of work: Intertwined, as if they always were a part of the setting. Listening with feminine attentiveness and speaking to us about the factory in a poetic and soft voice. Her work asks us to see the factory’s particularities - to see and to hear them anew, as they truly are - and that IS Art in my opinion. It makes people think and feel and challenge and decide and observe.
Making us more "human", I guess - and I love this feeling, even if I encounter it seldom!
Thank you Chrysanthi for this experience.
Since most of my own pictures are from the factory/museum itself, you can see more of the actual exhibition here, on Chrysanthi's site.
But I digress... this is quite a huge subject and we can discuss it in the comments or in another moment, if you wish.
Anyway, ranting or musing aside… in this very specific instance there was something happening that truly resonated with me and that for the first time gave the words “Fiber Artist” a meaning that rang true - even in my personal strict, narrow and very specific view of fibre and art!