Mary Corey March
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Identity Tapestry

At OCCCA, smallest iteration

There are 9 iterations so far in this series:

Principal, San Francisco (2014), Southern Vermont College (9/2013), Wisdom 2.0, San Francisco (2013), Pepperdine University, Malibu, (2013), Bleicher Gallery, LA (2012) and Orange County Center for Contemporary Art, Orange County (2011), BWAC, Brooklyn, (2011), Treasure Island Music Festival, San Francisco (2008), Cellspace, SF (2008)

Identity Tapestry was Awarded "Best Installation" by Nat Trotman (associate curator, Soloman Guggenheim, NYC) at the BWAC Wide Open2 show.

 

video is really the best way to see and understand this changing piece

Identity Tapestry 2013

at Wisdom 2.0 conference, San Francisco, 2/2013(18ft x 5ft)

at Pepperdine

at Pepperdine University's "Reel Stories" film festival 1/2013 (13'x5')

the basket was an addition in the 4th iteration that I now cannot imagine the piece without

(following is the iteration created at BWAC's Wide Open2 show in Brooklyn, NY 3/2011)

The Action:


Each participant chooses a color of yarn they feel represents them from the shelf to the left.

No two colors are the same, and each ball of yarn holds a stone in the center.

They unravel it, wrapping statements on the wall that they feel show something about who they are...

 

The piece begins on the left and progresses in a narrative through the statements.

 

Statements are loosely grouped by association beginning with what many people find are the most basic identifiers (such as "I am a woman") and ending with conclusions about the state of one's life generally (such as "I am fortunate").

...they may choose to loop through every statement that applies to them, or only the few most essential to their identity.

 

As each person maps aspects of their identity they will leave a line- their mark on the drawing. 

Complex portraits develop as simple statements are linked together. Anyone coming later will be able to trace other participants' paths. 

 

 

When the participant has finished marking their statements (or they run out of string), they can set their stone on the ground or allow it to dangle from their last statement.

Some rolls of yarn may be more used up than others- some may have the stone exposed, some may be still covered, and a few may be left suspended- used up before they reach the ground.

Just as we all have differing amounts of life without initially knowing how much, the yarn is different lengths, some too short to finish..

As more and more people add their lines, patterns emerge and a tapestry of human identity forms which is specific to the particular time, place, and people who created it.

The Tapestry as a whole also reflects the group of people who participate in it and becomes a group portrait.

About the Materials:

This iteration of the installation included about 250 statement plaques, with several adjustments from the previous iterations. Statement layout is always different.

Statement plaques are made of laser-cut acrylic with a small paper label similar to the "hello my name is" labels.

Statements were inspired by conversations with strangers, psychology profile tests, online profiles and many other things people use to identify themselves and others.

The artist personally overd-dyed hundreds of colors of yarn in addition to several existing colors so that each participant would have their own unique color.

A variety of different yarns were used, all single-ply natural fibers selected for a variety of texture and thickness, and for softness in the hand.

The installation measures 8-18 feet in length.

 
 
Iterations:  
#8
Southern Vermont College, Bennington, VT (9/2013)
#7
Wisdom 2.0 Conference, San Francisco, CA (2/2013)
#6
"Reel Stories" Film Festival, Pepperdine University, Malibu, CA (1/2013)
#5
"TEXT MESSAGE: the alchemy of text", Bleicher Gallery, Los Angeles, CA(8-9/2012)
#4
"You First",Orange County Contemporary Center for the Arts, Orange County, CA (10/2011)
#3
"Wide Open2", BWAC Brooklyn, NY. (3/2011) *best installation award.
#2
Treasure Island Music Festival, San Francisco, CA.(9/20-21/2008)
#1
"Alchemy" show at Cellspace Gallery, San Francisco, CA.(4/26/2008)

copyright 4/08 Mary Corey March