In ‘String Theory. The Aesthetic of Crafts and the Crafting of
Politics. Some Commentary on the Work of Goshka Macuga, Etel Adnan,
Alighiero Boetti and Hannah Ryggen’, art historian and curator
Carolyn Christov-Bakargiev discussed the work of the above artists
together with curator and writer Rike Frank.
By sketching an analysis of the work of Hannah Ryggen (1894–1970), Etel Adnan (b.1925), Alighiero Boetti (1940–1994) and Goshka Macuga (b.1967), Christov-Bakargiev introduced works related to travel, geography, and mapping, which questioned the tropes of art and redefined alternative modes of expression to dissolve boundaries between various disciplines and fields. The presentation surveyed Hannah Ryggen’s large-scale epic tapestries which pull international political events despite personal imperil factors; Etel Adnan’s accordion-fold books of visual and verbal observation in painting and writing, unfolding landscapes and urban spaces in the light of political and personal dimensions of violence and exile; the discomfort within the growing violence of Italian politics, which propelled Boetti into new directions in the early 1970s with extensive travels to Kabul, Afghanistan; and Goshka Macuga’s dwelling in the archives of institutions and recreation of fictional truths to recontextualise historical events. Through these and other figures we were transported into a space of materiality that recalls the crafting of objects and its embedded stories. In this reading of multiple geopolitical and interconnected traditions, the string theory gives certitude to the belief that something remains, against the central questions of modern physics of whether all information will disappear into a black hole.