Verwobene Fäden: Textile Referenzen in der zeitgenössischen Kunst Afrikas und der Diaspora

  • Kerstin Pinther
  • Kerstin Schankweiler



Entangled Threads: Textile References in the Contemporary Arts of Africa and the Diaspora

Unlike the European context, where textiles were rather marginalized within the hierarchy of arts, the production of textiles in many African societies is a specialized and highly appreciated métier. Textiles not only play a crucial role in the negotiation of identities and memories, but their fluidity and genuine adaptability seem to be especially attractive for processes of cultural translation as well as for the contemporary arts. The diverse textile traditions of the African continent are thus important resources and aesthetic references for artists. In this paper we focus on the works of four artists who refer to African textile traditions: Abdoulaye Konaté (“From charm to abstraction”), El Anatsui (“Textile aesthetics in other media”), Ghada Amer (“Embroidery as translation”) and Senzeni Marasela (“Stitching as remembrance and search for new identities”). Their individual artistic approaches to textiles do not only differ with regard to techniques (weaving, stitching et al); they also negotiate different concepts of masculinity and femininity, already inherent in the textile traditions.