Counterweight — 2012

La Cambre, Performance, textile design

As a heavy blanket at your grandmother’s home, the sand-filled fabric covers and protects the body in a twist. Much like a story, “Counter- weight” needs actors too. It might be appropriate to remember how the word used for “pattern” in Swedish, more specifically “rekursion”, is also used as a way to refer to “narrative” or “story”.

The reference, like a theatrical plot, suggests a link between how our own gestures change in the interaction with another; in this case, how the behavior of the fabric is affected by motion and how the weight of the fabric determines how the body can move and sustain itself. The quali- ties of textiles and each fabric are not just to be seen, since most of them go unnoticed without a near interaction. Here we are reminded that tex- tiles should be understood as less of visual treats, and more as tactile objects that relate to the body, and that may or may not hold its pulsations.

Sand-filled patterns repeat themselves much like fingerprints on the bodies of those who wear them, but never in the same way.

Therefore, Counterweight is where shapes come to be reshaped. Where folded cloths come to be unfolded, and then folded again with a new re- sult. Where a fabric can only become a chair and take a body’s weight with the right kind of inter- action. It all comes down to the tension that can only be created through the dialogue with another object. Brought under the same logic of something being more than the sum of its parts, these patterns and fabrics are not just mere surfaces, but a cast of characters that when given the chance to be brought into play and interaction

with a third, win new qualities with some levels of self-awareness. From the materials to the geometric patterns that balance gravity, repetition differentiates itself depending on the potentials of each figure that animates it.

Like waves behind a motorboat, if the fabric was to be light, these shapes heavily resonate with the body, and weight becomes a tangible way to express that information is physical. To embrace it as a tactile potential means to empower the body and animate the qualities of each fabric, since it is true that there is always a chance of seeing while staying undiscovered, but it is impossible to touch and stay untouched.

Lina Cepero