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Amy Pekal in Workshop/Residency in Italy: Rituals of the Contemporary

  • Amy Pekal’s textile sculptures
Amy Pekal ’15 Art History and Business major, Studio Art minor, was one of 6 [out of 110 applicants] selected to participate in Cittadellarte and Fondazione Zegna’s residential module, Rituals of the Contemporary.

Amy writes: The week was divided into 2 days of workshop/presentations and background information about how anthropologists dealt with the ritual, two days of pseudo- ethnographic research in which we visited a wool/ textile mill in Trivero, and the surrounding nature park called Oasi Zegna and 2.5 days of production of work responding to the theme of the ritual/ the factory and the natural environment, and a day of presentation and discussion.

In producing these textile sculptures, I used the scraps of the textiles and hand-crocheted them into forms under the condition that once a color runs out the work is finished. The endless repetitive act was my means to embody the felt sensations of the workers in the factory.  I performed this repetitive act for my presentation and simultaneously discussed my reflection on the region.  The reason for the wool mill to continue to prosper in this region of Italy was largely because the water has a lower mineral content and as a result of the wool textiles, when washed, are softer and more pliable. 

“Embodied repetition. - you see, they ask us as artists to think of future possibilities. However, to me it is critical to grow familiar with what already is- what defines the everyday practices of a specific local. This practice of understanding and embodiment allows me to understand what must be done from the inside outward.”