Monday, 21 June 2010

Louise Bourgeois' fabric sketch books

Louise Bourgeois - From Ode a l'oubli - seen in Selvedge issue 20

I was looking through a few back issues of Selvedge magazine today and I found an article about two artist books that Louise Bourgeois made in 2002 and 2004; Ode to La Bievre and Ode a l'oubli. As always the article (issue 20 Nov/Dec 2007) is beautifully presented with lovely images of the work.

The books contain sheets made of fabric, which function as sketchbooks, Dr Catherine Harper says: "...The Bievre is the river into which she threw herself, enraged with her father. And the other, 'a l'oubli, proposes a lyric devoted to forgetting. The conundrum of the work, however, is the undercurrent of of Bourgeois' creative drive. That is, in celebrating forgetting, trying to forget and to reduce the pain, she in fact re-configures it, creating it anew. She materialises that which she wishes to immaterialise, shows what she wishes to hide and makes real that which she wishes were not so".

"...Bourgeois' use of textiles is calculated - we are reassured by the domestic order and familial familiarity of the tea towel stripes, deck chair stripes, home-made quilt patterns, and nicely turned seams. We are reassured that home is safe, ordered, comforting. The device however, is Freudian: the uncanny is familiar, the homely at the same time unheimlich, the threat often from within the supposed zone of safety". Selvedge issue 20 Nov/Dec 2007

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