At the end of a year without touching, Azrieli Gallery is wrapping itself in textile- and handicraft-based works. The modular panels have been dressed up in a variety of fabrics, sheets, embroideries, and detail-laden sewn articles. They invite us to examine them closely and discover the fabrication.
The origins of the word 'textile' are in the realms of invention: the Indo-European root tek means making and creating. In a later linguistic incarnation, the term has evolved into the Latin textum, initially meaning woven material, or fabric, and later – the weaving of words, the text.
In Hebrew, the meanings have meshed together, like woof and warp, in the notion of fabrication'.' Indeed, many works in the exhibition contain some falsehood. The processes of their creation are encrypted, and their materiality is surprising, disrupted, illusionary.
The artists who participate in 'Fabrications' reveal personal histories through various techniques: knotting, unraveling, stringing, stacking, dyeing, printing, and projecting. Despite the differences in the works, their themes repeat like connecting threads: tradition, immigration, the canny and the uncanny, ceremonies, industry, and consumption. The "second sleeve" of the show is a virtual wing, an internet site inviting us to experience the techniques which are renewing textile traditions.
'Fabrications' joins an extensive weave of exhibitions that have sought to discuss the debatable position of textile art in the creative hierarchy. Among recent attempts we can count 'Woven Consciousness – Contemporary Textile in Israel', curated by Irena Gordon at the Eretz Israel Museum in Tel Aviv (2014), and "The event of a Thread – Global Narratives in Textile," a traveling exhibition curated by Suzanne Weiss and Inka Gressel, its Israeli section curated by Dalia Manor of the Negev Museum (2019).
The Jerusalem context links the exhibition to the city's stories and fabrics - from the Bezalel workshop, which had sought to spread a new Hebrew identity through rugs and lacework, to the Arab cotton market, a street of shops nurtured by the architect Charles Ashbee, who had turned it into a center for local and folk crafts. The exhibition is presented at the gallery, which serves as a display window for the academy as it promotes the design professions' social aspect.