2009 - 5a BIENAL INTERNACIONAL DE ARTE TEXTIL
When the Organization Women in Textile Art - (Mujeres en el Arte Textil) reached its tenth year, it un derwent a subtle name change from Women in Textile Art to World Textile Art - Arte Textil del Mundo. The decision was based on the fact that for the first time in the 4th WTA Biennial held in Costa Rica, men participated in a supportive and cooperative partnership, that is, in a joint venture. Therefore, in November 2007 in Miami, we gathered to celebrate WTAs 10th Anniversary with new name - to better represent our new profile, and thus validate a wider and more extensive criteria - that of broadening the participation field to include all artists who creatively express their art through textile means. Thus, without deviating from our intended course, WTA is working relentlessly towards a stronger promotion of any shape, content, and form of contemporary textile art.
According to this purpose, the current Biennial Exhibition is of foremost importance: the new name is being applied officially for the first time as well as for all future ones from here on. Consequently, the 5th International Biennial Exhibition of Contemporary Textile Art - WTA announced and openly called for the participation of all contemporary artists, from anywhere in the world, who employ and make use of textile languages regardless of origin, gender, personal be liefs, handicaps or disabilities.
Throughout the years, each of the Biennial Exhibitions has successfully expressed the idiosyncratic character of the host countrys particular cultural characteristics as well as the coming together of the different organizations and individuals coordinating the events. These original traits and subjectivities have not only been fruitful and enriching to the different Biennial Exhibitions, but they have also contributed in nurturing and enhancing WTA at the core. The 4th Biennial also pioneered a cycle of lectures and workshops that included specialized international guests. At the same time, the different Biennial Shows stand as living testimonies to this rich and growing history still taking shape. They denote the ongoing, inner transformation taking place in the arts, and which pertains to textile art itself.
It is important to underscore that WTA has taken on a further mission throughout its twelve years of existence: Constant outreach actions were launched from the WTA base in Miami and were also highlighted in various Biennial events. Our Program of Social Interaction encourages the integration of handicapped and blind persons through workshops on creative textile processes, as well as our childrens textile workshops. In our Second Biennial, a special Childrens Section was hosted. In the current Biennial, this kind of work has not been forgotten. It is linked to the AMIAs Net-Weaving -Tra mando Redes, event, which offers participation on equal grounds for artists and lay people the world-over. The current children s and blind persons' textile workshops are part of this mission.
This Biennial project not only makes for a great and momentous series of events, but it twill also to leave behind, an active light of powerful thinking related to the contemporary history of Textile Art, alive and in perpetual transformation. Presenting true avantgarde artistic expressions, this Biennial will focus the eyes of textile-interested people from throughout precisely on this part of the Earth. The time has come to reveal this 5th International Biennial Exhibition of Contemporary Textile Art as a veritable cultural axis of recognition for textile work. This also means acknowledging the cultural heritage our original peoples from ancient times to the present in the exhibition halls - since it was their unstinting dedication and unyielding perseverance which led us to this series of epic events of unique scope and peerless magnitude. Without a doubt, this 5th Biennial Exhibition in Argentina will make a mark in the international cultural scene.
Today the Palais de Glace is dressed up for this extraordinary event as it opens its doors to the 5th International Biennial Exhibition of Contemporary Textile Art - with its 102 carefully-chosen artists and international guest artists; and as highlights: the award ceremonies of the Biennial prizes to the best works and of our cultural prize,. the "Olga de Amaral Award", to be conferred on Mrs. Ruth Corcuera, a person with an outstanding distinguished career in the textile world. The 5th International Biennial Exhibition of Contemporary Textile Art, together with the parallel shows and separate events superbly structured by the Argentinean Coordinators of WTA, is the result of a working process based on four outstanding previous Biennials, multiple exhibitions of miniatures and large scale works, a brilliant trajectory of twelve years of growth, evolution, unceasing dedication and great projects for the future.
© PILAR TOBON PRESIDENT WORLD TEXTILE ART
© LAURA FERRANDO DIRECTOR 5a BIENAL INTERNACIONAL DE ARTE TEXTIL
Over the past decade, the World Textile Art Organization has realized biennial exhibitions of contem porary textile art in various countries of the Americas.
Through the vision of its founder and president, Pilar Tobon, WTA has positioned itself internationally. Undoubtedly its biennials have transcended throughout the world as prestigious referents for textile art, with an incre asing interest from artists and public in this form of artistic expression. Undeniable proof of this is the great number of entries received for the 5th Biennial - more than 400 works from 48 countries.
When my colleagues, Silke, Flora Sutton and Isabel Ditone, and I met over two years ago with the idea of preparing a proposal to chair the next WTA Biennial, we knew that we had a lot to show to the world, given that in various museums and cultural centers of the City of Buenos Aires, there exists a textile patrimony of the highest standards, both Pre-Columbian and Contemporary.
We also knew that thanks to our beloved Argentine Centre for Textile Art (CAAT) www.caat.org.ar and the work that it has developed over the last 30 years in uniting and supporting artists, Argentina as a host country would have the opportunity to show the high quality of its textile artists.
It was thus that we proposed as our primordial aim to promote textile art both in our country and internationally and to reposition the concept of Textile Art, given that even today the general public, when speaking of this art form, immediately thinks of woven tapestries - despite the fact that over many years a great number of textile artists have distanced themselves from the traditional techniques of tapestry work and ventured into new and innovative techniques. They have incorporated an infinity of new materials, opening an almost limitless field of creative potential.
Increasingly, artists and particularly young people, who do not define themselves as textile artists per se, resort to textiles as a means of expression, making their mark in the Present.
Based on these objectives, the selection of works, carried out by curator Florencia Battiti to our Invited Artists Exhibition, placed the spotlight on those artists who express themselves through fibers and interlacements.
The selected artists combine disciplines using new technologies, venturing into diverse strands of research in permanent quests that question categories but at the same time, maintain textiles as the integrating concept. Thus we consider that our art deserves a place in the contemporary visual arts scene, which would allow it to reach the market through galleries, art fairs and biennials within a frame of equality with the other disciplines.
We have presented a different and exceptional strategy for the Biennial in Argentina according to the tradition of the notable and original earlier biennials. That is, for the main axis exhibition, we decided to reintroduce - as in the first WTA Biennial "Pre-Columbian Renaissance" - the large format for participating works; and in difference to the previous biennials, the theme was left open, so that the individual concepts with which each artist works would manifest. On the other hand, a series of parallel exhibitions have been organized in the main museums and cultural centers of the city, which range from pre-Columbian textile art to exhibitions of contemporary international an argentinian artists. In the case of the latter, emphasis was placed in convoking artists from the different provinces so that the interior of the country be represented. And finally, the city of Cordoba, home of an ample textile tradition, enthusiastically joined as a Sub-Chair.
We intend for this event to be of the highest cultural level, promoting an exchange between artists as well as a fraternity between countries, and that it connect Humanity through Art, allowingfor fellowship over ideologies, beliefs and cultural differences, as the public from all corners of our country and the world comes together.
© LAURA FERRANDO DIRECTOR 5a BIENAL INTERNACIONAL DE ARTE TEXTIL
Source: Catalog 5th Bienal Internacional de Arte Textil