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LIZ COLLINS AND “ARMY” OF KNITTERS TAKE TO THE STAGE IN
A performance and site-specific installation at the ICA/Boston
Oct. 16 and Nov. 25, 2011
High-res images available on request
(BOSTON—Sept. 21, 2011) In conjunction with its 75th anniversary and the major exhibition Dance/Draw, the Institute of Contemporary Art/Boston (ICA) presents two performances of Knitting Nation by the artist and fashion designer Liz Collins. The performances take place on Oct. 16, 11 a.m. – 5 p.m., and Nov. 25, 11 a.m. – 9 p.m., in the Barbara Lee Family Foundation Theater at the ICA (100 Northern Ave., Boston). FREE with museum admission. Audiences will be free to move in and out of the theater throughout the performance. For more information, visit www.icaboston.org. The Bank of America Charitable Foundation is proud to be the Celebration Sponsor for the ICA 75th Birthday.
Collins brings her “army” of volunteer knitters to the ICA for two live performances of Knitting Nation, Phase 7: Darkness Descends (Oct. 16) and Phase 8: Under Construction (Nov. 25). These are the first Knitting Nation performances to take place in a theater setting. In the performances, groups of knitters wearing costumes designed by Collins use manually-operated knitting machines to create a site–specific installation. Collins exploits the material properties of yarn, transforming it from yarn to line, from thread to material, from both line and material into planes of color. Her use of live performance means that these transformations happen in real time and are seen to be the result of laboring human bodies. Her performances intimate that creativity in art and fashion share many of the same principles, prime among them a reliance on the body as a site of both labor and display, and the use of the line to delimit and explore the boundaries of both the body and performance.
In Phase 7: Darkness Descends, five performers are dramatically spot-lit on a dark stage, heightening the presence of the ongoing drone of the manually-operated machines as the knitters perform, while Phase 8: Under Construction engages the theme of line in Dance/Draw through the complex interplay of lines across eight knitting machines stationed on various levels of scaffolding.
Liz Collins is recognized internationally for her use of machine knitting to create ground-breaking clothing, textiles, and 3-D installations. After five years as an independent designer of seasonal ready-to-wear collections in NYC, Collins returned to RISD as an Associate Professor in the Textile Department. A member of the Council of Fashion Designers of America, Collins was has been cited by The New York Times as a creator of “brilliantly crafted” garments and a “designer with many industry accolades.” For more information about Knitting Nation, visit http://lizcollins.com/projects/knitting-nation.
Dance/Draw is an ambitious thematic show tracing the journey of the line from changes in drawing in the 1960s to its explosion off the page and into three-dimensional space—ultimately finding itself in the realm of dance. In particular, this exhibition investigates the connections between visual art and dance over the past 50 years, culminating in the exploration of a new generation of artists deeply interested in dance. Organized by ICA Chief Curator Helen Molesworth, Dance/Draw features approximately 100 works—including video, photography, drawings and sculptural objects as well as a series of live performances in the galleries and theater. Dance/Draw is on view at the ICA from Oct. 7, 2011 – Jan. 16, 2012.
In the ICA Store: Knitting Nation T
This shirt features the Knitting Nation logo and hand-knit long sleeves with Collins' signature seaming technique. Body of the shirt is 100% organic cotton; sleeves are rayon, lurex and silk. ($99.95, ICA members $89.96)
About the ICA
An influential forum for multi-disciplinary arts, the Institute of Contemporary Art has been at the leading edge of art in Boston for 75 years. Like its iconic building on Boston's waterfront, the ICA offers new ways of engaging with the world around us. Its exhibitions and programs provide access to contemporary art, artists, and the creative process, inviting audiences of all ages and backgrounds to participate in the excitement of new art and ideas. The ICA, located at 100 Northern Avenue, is open Tuesday and Wednesday, 10 a.m. —5 p.m.; Thursday and Friday, 10 a.m. —9 p.m.; and Saturday and Sunday, 10 a.m. —5 p.m. Admission is $15 adults, $13 seniors and $10 students, and free for members and children 17 and under. ICA Free Admission for Youth is sponsored by State Street Foundation. Free admission on ICA Free Thursday Nights, 5—9 p.m. Free admission for families at ICA Play Dates (2 adults + children 12 and under) on the last Saturday of the month. For more information, call 617-478-3100 or visit our Web site at www.icaboston.org.