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‘Chinese Whispers: Variations on Textile’

Authors
Publisher
Berg
Publication Date
Keywords
  • Fine Art
  • Film & Video
Disciplines
  • Design
  • Political Science

Abstract

This article extends the meaning of 'textile' to explore its relation to the cinematic screen, drawing on the writings of Gilles Deleuze, Julia Kristeva and others. Reading the textured surfaces of Zhang Yimou's Ju Dou, a beautiful Chinese film set in a fabric-dying factory, the Baroque scenographies of Piranesi, Watteau's fetes galantes, and Vivienne Westwood's fashion designs, it considers appearance through speech, gesture and the body adorned or abused and damaged by craft and labour. In thinking through the 'textile screen', and observing processes running in and between networks of texts, it makes a theoretical gesture towards the utopian political possibilities of 'textile' as an accoustic screen in which disparate voices interact.

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