With a book, an installation in our window space and an outdoor performance series, Claudia Hill presents the travel diary of a handwoven poncho. In her project that spans ten years, the artist challenged the participants to ask the question: What is the most essential element of what you do, and how can it be shared in a significant way? Hill shows this to be an urgent question, locating the value of art in its relational and transformative contingencies.
The poncho was passed between artists in different geographic locations during this ten-year period. Every artist, or occasionally someone on their behalf, handed it off to the next participant, and Hill would prompt them: “Do something with this, and then send me something.” The results of these projects will be published in a book with 30 different contributions, released alongside the exhibit. In the book, as well as through the video project on view at Efremidis, Hill evokes a collective consciousness emerging from this garment. Weaving the poncho was the starting point of the piece, and this gesture ultimately became one of care and togetherness. As poet CAConrad exclaims, “I feel the beautiful residual haunting of those who wore it before me!”
Passed from one artist to another, often a slow process, the poncho captures an unhurried materiality in contrast to an otherwise fast-paced, digitized environment. That this poncho was worn by a group of artists, literally laid across the skin of many people over time, imbues it with the narrative of a manifold community. As Hill herself describes, “It exists in a slower time.”
Claudia Hill is a Berlin-based interdisciplinary artist, engaging in performance art, costume and stage design, and somatic form. Her work has been presented at art centers and theatres internationally, for example Paris Internationale, Mumok Museum moderner Kunst Stiftung Ludwig Wien, and HAU Hebbel am Ufer. Starting from a deeply rooted relationship to textiles and female-centered craft that began in the world of fashion, she explores ways of communication through multi-sensory experiences such as described in her book, Social Fabric Earth Return.
Claudia would like to thank all the contributors to the book, Tenzing Barshee, Lucas Liccini, Tony Just, Jared Gradinger, Friederike Goll, Elise Urban, Diane Esnault, Emilia Patrignani, Christine Hill, Martin Silbernagl, Gwärtler Stiftung, Fonds Darstellende Künste, and Earth.