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The Mending Project

vineri, 23 noiembrie 2012



The Mending Project was a 2011 installation and performance art piece by Austin-based artist Beili Liu. The work involved an ongoing process wherein visitors were invited to cut pieces of fabric from a giant cloth upon entering the space, the fragments of which Liu then stitched back together creating a giant patchwork that gradually encircled the artist. The concept seems harmless enough if it weren’t for the ominous array of downward-facing scissors suspended above her workspace.



The installation consists of hundreds of Chinese scissors suspended from the ceiling, pointing downwards. The hovering, massive cloud of scissors alludes to distant fear, looming violence and worrisome uncertainty. The performer sits beneath the countless sharp blades of the scissors, and performs an on-going simple task of mending. [...] As each visitor enters the space, one is asked to cut off a piece of the white cloth hung near the entrance, and offer the cut section to the performer. She then continuously sews the cut pieces onto the previous ones. The mended fabric grows in size throughout the duration of the performance, and takes over the vast area of the floor beneath the scissors.




The overwhelming situation presented in The Mending Project is balanced and softened by the silent persistence of a simple mending action. The large quantity and intense force of the scissors elevate the confrontation between the objects and the performer. The installation/performance evokes urgency, concern, and fear, while simultaneously influence viewers through the calming and healing aura of the mending action.



As each visitor enters the space, one is asked to cut off a piece of the white cloth hung near the entrance, and offer the cut section to the performer. She then continuously sews the cut pieces onto the previous ones. The mended fabric grows in size throughout the duration of the performance, and takes over the vast area of the floor beneath the scissors.


The Mending Project was part of Art Night Austin 2011 and was on display at Women & Their Work Gallery (via job’s wife)

Photos by Art Night Austin, Rino Pizzi, Blue, Christy Cochran

Video by Joao Beira and Fumika Yamamoto


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