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Thursday, August 13, 2009

Fiberarts-"Reinventing Fiber"

This is just a note and may seem a bit cranky. It is August and has rained most of the summer and it seems as if I have been incredibly busy, so maybe I'm entitled. The newest issue of "Fiberarts" has been kicking around my house for weeks now; it remained unopened because I hated the work on the cover and the general theme of the issue, at least based on the title seemed slightly beside the point to me. Wasn't the whole Modernist notion of destroy the past to invent something new determined to be a failure about twenty-five years ago? Is it necessary to declare every so often that fiberarts have completely turned the whole medium upside down. Finally, I opened the magazine and paged through and remained unimpressed: when did leather become catagorized as a fiberart, why embroider money?... Actually I found the work of a couple of the artists' downright creepy. If one has any knowledge about the field, some of the work isn't really reinventions at all, just a slight recombination of elements. I know thar the parent company for Interweave press is Barnes and Noble, so the audience for this magazine has changed or grown or become diluted, depending on your point of view. But the most pressing question seems to be about the nature of fiberart itself: are the various artforms so limited or shopworn that we must feel compelled to declared we have completely reinvented the entire field every decade or so?
I miss the old style of the magazine and the image of everyone putting it together maybe not quite so slickly, in the wonderful old building in downtown Asheville, North Carolina.

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