Cloth, the body’s first surround, is a hand always touching us
Cloth making—among the oldest forms of human cultural production—provides inspiration for Ann Hamilton’s multi-venue project, habitus, located at three sites: The Fabric Workshop and Museum, Municipal Pier 9, and on social media. Habitus weaves text, textile, and image together as mediums for an imaginative and tactile exchange between artist and audience.
The museum’s galleries display Hamilton’s selection of historical objects—including literary commonplace books, textile sample books, dolls, and needlework portfolios—borrowed from Philadelphia museums and public collections. Printed passages from published writings referencing the social and material life of textiles, and collected through an open call to the public at cloth · a commonplace, will be available free to museum visitors.
In the vast space of Municipal Pier 9 on the Delaware River, visitors propel a field of gigantic cylindrical curtains to billow to atmospheric proportion. As cloth swaddles us at birth and covers us in sleep; as a folded blanket can tell a story of trade; as a flag carries the symbol of a nation, Hamilton’s multi-venue exhibition habitus invites us to touch and be touched by the fabric of human experience.
Credit: Exhibition overview from museum website