Sympoiesis: making with Exhibition
3440 Motor Ave STE 203 Los Angeles, CA 90034
Saturday, February 25 at 4:00 PM 6:00 PM
Ends Apr 8, 2023
Studio 203 is excited to announce Sympoiesis: making with, an exhibition exploring how one of humanity’s oldest craft and industrial forms––the making of clothing––has shaped our relationship to the land, our bodies, and each other. Created in partnership with Southern California Fibershed, Sympoiesis presents a social practice following the threads that link our agricultural and economic ecosystems to our wellbeing and what we wear. The exhibition title calls up author and scholar Donna Haraway’s neologism “sympoiesis,” or making-with; the idea that we are creatures of the earth in a dance of co-creation. For thousands of years, people have transformed animal- and plant-based fiber to craft garments that clothed and protected their bodies, offered decoration and ultimately engendered a radical and disruptive transformation of the earth. Such fiber-based work embodies generations of cultural skills and concepts; our disconnections from the sources of the material we wear and the knowledge of how that material is transformed is a rupture of our natural relationships to the earth and each other. This intimate exhibition is a journey through local ecosystems and craft traditions, entwining instructional didactics, handmade garments, weavings, video and tactile components to draw connections between soil, plant, animal, work, hand, and body. Presenting these fibershed systems within the context of a gallery frames the work in a space more commonly associated with challenging or transformative experiences. Caring for our soil, raising healthy plants and animals, making our clothing and working with our hands is a profoundly grounding experience. These practices have the power to transform how we live in the world and how we understand our belonging to the world. Works on display include a coat crafted by Patricia Mulcahy, Joyce Dulch, Liz Jones, Margaret Tyler, Stacy Swenck, and Mary Saxton of the San Diego Creative Weavers Guild; a coat set by the Ventura County Handweavers and Spinners Guild; sweaters from LA-based artisanal clothing brand Greg Lauren; and a signature piece from California-based Zapotec textile artist, natural dyer, and activist Porfirio Gutierrez. About Lesley Roberts Lesley Roberts works and plays in the spaces between culture, material, and imagination. She is a creative strategist, community builder, and social entrepreneur. She is the founder of Material Encounters, director of the Southern California chapter of Fibershed, and co-founder and former Executive Director of Textile Arts | Los Angeles. She initiated Los Angeles Textile Month and the conferences Mindful Materials (2018), Materiality & Method (2019), and Material Dialogues (2020). She has been invited to speak at the UCLA Costume Design Department (Sustainability and the Eco-System of Fashion), American Craft Council (Future Insights: The Future of the Creative Economy), and Regenerative Rising (Women in the Wardrobe), among others. Sympoeisis: making with is her first curatorial endeavor. About Aneesa Shami Zizzo Aneesa Shami Zizzo is an artist and arts-based researcher in Los Angeles using recycled materials to create fiber art. Her work references the sublime and world mythologies to evoke a sense of the collective unconscious within her imagery. Zizzo’s work has been exhibited nationally in galleries and museums. She recently created costumes for Planet City (2020), directed by Liam Young, which was commissioned for the NGV Triennial 2020 in Melbourne, Australia. Zizzo is also the co-owner and director of Studio 203, an artist-run project space in Los Angeles featuring exhibitions, workshops and performances. About Southern California Fibershed The Southern California Fibershed encompasses the region south of San Luis Obispo to San Diego. We seek to deepen the regenerative textile conversation by directly connecting wearers to the biological context of their wardrobe. We encourage community building and connections between textile artists, designers, fiber farmers, processing mills, suppliers, and business.