Rijswijk Textile Biennial

Museum Rijswijk is mounting the second Rijswijk Textile Biennial from 7 June until 11 September 2011.  While in 2009 the first Textile Biennial was limited to exclusively Dutch artists, this summer the museum’s exhibition areas will be full of the work of twenty artists from North America, Europe and Asia.

On Sunday 11 September, the last day of the Textile Biennial, a grand textile fair will be held in the front courtyard of the Museum and in the Oude Kerk (Old Church) opposite from 13.00 until 17:00.

Dorothée Van Biesen: tribute to la specola 3(2009)

Nothing is quite what it seems. An exquisitely woven wall hanging with holes burned in it? Knuckle-dusters and skeletons made of satin? Images embroidered on porcelain? This is just a small selection of the work by twenty artists who use textiles as a means of communication. Who says knitting, embroidery and crocheting are traditional and passé? The artists toy with this stuffy image in order to set the viewer on the wrong track. Their work closely follows current developments in the arts, making critical but also humorous statements about politics, identity, origin and sexuality.

Rather shockingly, Mariëlle van den Bergh burns holes in jacquard, a cloth usually associated with luxury and refinement. After a stay in India, her work became political and depicts images of disease, war and imperialism. The pain is expressed quite literally in the cloth.

The colourful embroidered pictures by Jacquelyn Royal are like small jewels. Her realistic cityscapes, however, depict the most desolate of spots: dilapidated walls covered in graffiti or obscure places with advertising and traffic signs.

Dorothée van Biesen: bidons roses 2010.

At first sight the satin sculptures by Dorothée Van Biesen, executed in sugar-sweet tones, appear charming and seductive. On further inspection, they consist of intestines, bones, knuckle-dusters, pistols and machine guns. Through her work, which is related to street and underground art and tattoo design, she wants to evoke human existence in its most raw form.

The fantasy world of Orly Cogan, embroidered on already embroidered or printed vintage tablecloths, is humorous and naively erotic. She combines fantasy figures from fairy-tale books and comics with images from her own life. Although … does she really drink a cup of tea on a Saturday sitting naked on a vacuum cleaner?          

A religious depiction of the Holy Virgin executed in large-scale, satin relief? No, the Virgin is giving birth to frogs and there are other details that are not quite right as well. The images created by Gaby Kleindienst seem familiar, but also prove not to be what they at first appear. Drawing freely from examples from art history, she creates her own stories in which humankind and their actions are critically examined.

The naked men and hermaphrodites crocheted by Johanna Schweizer are colourful, cheerful and mischievous. These figures full of humour, inspired by mythology and folklore, often make reference to male chauvinism and pride.