Weaving often conjures the image of grannies sipping tea as they work on their latest creations, yet it can be lifted into the realm of the magical. In Greek mythology, Penelope’s repetitive act of weaving by day and unweaving by night for three years led to the happy ending of her reunion with husband Odysseus. To the Arhuaco, the indigenous people who reside in Columbia in the Sierra Nevada, weaving is a ritual that will bring enlightenment.

Inspired by the spirituality of the Arhuaco, French-British artist Alice Anderson weaved gigantic squares of myriad patterns with her signature material copper wire in her new series Bodily Itineraries, currently showing at her solo exhibition Spiritual Machines in La Patinoire Royale, Brussels. Suspended in space, these at times Rothko-esque scarlet squares provide the resting places for Blackberry, computers and other gadgets in a church-like ambience. The squares should be weighed down by the many intertwined digital past lives they carry, yet they float like celestial beings in a universe weaved by the 46 year old, provoking meditations on how the digital evolution is (re)shaping our personal and collective memories.

Back in 2010, Anderson chanced upon copper wire as her chosen material when she was studying the mechanism of an alarm clock. She then memorized her first object – her computer – by weaving copper wire around it, a brave move for she didn’t back it up. She has since gone on to mummify the Freud Museum (Housebound, 2011) and a 1967 Ford Mustang, a collaboration with visitors of her exhibition at Wellcome Collection, London, held in 2015.

No object is too big or too small for Anderson’s efforts to “stop all the clocks”, to borrow that famous line from the poem Funeral Blues by W. H. Auden. Over the past eight years, she has frozen the memories contained in all kinds of objects from oil paint tubes to lifts, vinyls to stairs. Founded in 2012, Anderson’s Travelling Studio Archive aims to connect the dots that are us from around the world and is “open to anyone who wishes to record objects of significance to them or to the society.”

What object would you like to be immortalized? I myself would like my discman, a birthday gift from my parents, to be memorized so that I can remember feeling so connected to an album after repeated listening has left traces all over it.


Alice Anderson:
Spiritual Machines
2018.1.12 – 3.17
Tuesday – Saturday, 11am – 7pm
La Patinoire Royale – galerie Valérie Bach

Travelling Studio Archive:

Photo courtesy to La Patinoire Royale and the artist


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