Sylwia Chutnik, Go stitch yourself!

The text has been published in the solo exhibition's catalog, "A Word Each", Bunkier Sztuki, Gallery of Contemporary Art, 2011.

I am what I sew. When a hole appears, I take any old coloured thread from the box, and a rusty needle. First, I struggle to thread the split-end cotton through the eye, then I try to darn the clothes as quickly as possible. I do oversew, that's for sure! After all, life's too short to sew. There is quite a special dance in how I move my hand. Up, down and a little sideways. My muscles work, the hole disappears under the layer of darning. Then, you wear it around town, and the shoddy work comes undone again. Good for nothing. Nothing good will come of sewing within your limited capabilities. Now, embroidery – ah, that’s a different kettle of fish altogether. Everyday embroiderology is interlaced, amongst others, with musings related to style. Of those, the most beautiful, at least as far as the name is concerned, is Richelieu. It sounds like a splendid, pompous princess, powdering her bust. In reality, on the cloth, it looks like endless curlicues, interconnected in the strangest places. Or, take cross stitch – like a boisterous mazurka, which jumps in all directions, from one side to the other. Hop skip, and there you are: the Pope, or a heart, are ready. And the Zakopane style: herringbone. And probably thousands more, all styles that you can chat about, seated on a bench outside the house. Swap patterns, cuts or whatever, maybe thimbles collected from all over the world, keep getting hooked on new things. Let’s go on sewing a bit longer, let’s stitch up the system out of spite, the system that would only have us stuck at the till of a bank somewhere. Have us stick our heads through the slot above the counter, yelling, ‘Oi, have they cleared my money yet?’ And the lady behind the cash desk snorts and gives us an embroidery hoop, saying, ‘Go, embroider yourself some cash, if the money hasn’t been credited, find a pattern, do a sketch and hem the cloth.’ ‘Cos, what’s all this about, then, you all want to come and be served, use other people’s work, dontcha?! You are what you stitch. Simple patterns, abstract, for special occasions, maybe some writing? Kitchen hangings keep everybody in their place, embroidered hankies code human snot, and embroidered lapels add both a bit of oomph and the stale stench of hierarchy. And even at times of life’s difficulties, in moments of sorrows dissolved in dew-like, morning tears – there is always the thread, and stranded cotton, and chenille. And, all around – swirls, flourishes, curlicues. Slowly, we are going along a straight line. Push the needle in and out, again and again. Our unrushed thoughts flow into most spectacular vistas. We sew them to our heads and patch up holes with them. You can also embroider different areas of your life, use the technique to fill up your entire flat with furniture, decorate the cutlery or clothes. And no matter which style we use, it’s always a pleasant change. After all, you can treat all this as therapy. Embroider yourself some pretty good traumas, stitch yourself out to death with all those patterns, embroider yourself out to the vital elements. Finally, use it for psychological self-defence, let them all embroider off, let them leave me alone! And sew up your mouth, any style will do, and, even, if you want to – do oversew, why not. After all, you can always unstitch any unwanted bits, or go for a brand new bit of stitching. Any time you want to.

lip 15, 2014 Kategoria: english Napisał: Monika