Hella Jongerius - Jongeriuslab


Dancing a Yarn

  • Year: 2021
  • Material: Yarn manufacturing machines, industrial machines, yarns and ropes
  • Commission: Gropius Bau
  • Production: Jongeriuslab
  • Category: Exhibition
  • Category: One-offs / experiments

The centuries-old practices of weaving and spinning are intertwined with notions of togetherness. Before industrialisation, people spent the long hours of textile production together, which rooted social structures therein. Several hands work on a single product, which consequently becomes infused with stories and conversations. Collective craft is often considered to have a healing effect.

Dancing a Yarn was created every day throughout the exhibition of Woven Cosmos at Gropius Bau, Berlin, in 2021. Visitors were invited to participate in the production process actively. Similar to dancing around a maypole, a rope was created collaboratively when the visitors moved in a circle while turning a tool to twist recycled textile strips. The ropes created during this process were comined with ropes produced on a hacked industrial braiding machine to form rope ladders that extended out of the windows of the museum.

Part of the Jongeriuslab moved into the museum to activate this installation and two others (Cosmic Loom and Space Loom #2). The individual steps of production, including the knotting and formation of the rope ladders, could be witnessed every day. Jongerius considers the unfinished, the provisional, and the potential to be essential components of the artistic process, honouring the gradual emergence of a work.

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