Openwork is a new performance piece that challenges the distinction between craft and art by magnifying the activity of knitting into a dance. An elaborate landscape is formed by dancers who use their limbs as knitting needles to create floor-to-ceiling textiles. At its heart, Openwork takes a political stance, advancing the cultural context of needlecraft and feminism by refusing to let go of crafting traditions, or to relegating them to a realm lower than "art."
This project reimagines knitting and crochet as kinetic art forms that create concrete traces of the body's motion, exploring how movement and needlecraft can influence each other. These parallel processes test the boundaries of how fiber arts and performance coexist, expanding possibilities for each element.
Directed and Designed by Rachel Damon
Created and Performed by Katie Matteson Campana, Megan Rhyme, Gretchen Soechting, and Laura Tennal
Music by Matthew Griffo and Leyla Royale
Lighting Design and Technical Direction by Sarah Lackner
Made possible with support from:
The Chicago Park District Arts Partners in Residence Program
The Richard H. Driehaus Foundation
The Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events
The Chicago Cultural Center
And many generous individuals