A conversation with artists Indira Allegra, Francisco echo Eraso, and Raisa Kabir; Moderated by Sandie Yi.
Join us as artists Indira Allegra, Francisco echo Eraso, and Raisa Kabir weave through a conversation on disability, craft, textile processes, grief, stimming, care, collectivity, access, joy, creative labor and the interconnectedness of it all. A gentle invocation into the possibilities and powerful potential of craft to reflect how queer crip artists are imagining and co-dreaming of ways to refashion and restructure access in our living worlds.
Guests will be invited to participate in a collective care exercise during this virtual event. Please join us with textile based materials, such as thread, yarn, lint and hair. All are encouraged to bring any other tactile based materials or stim objects of your preference.
About the speakers:
Indira Allegra's works draw from an investigation of inner space, animism and the ritual, relational and performative aspects of weaving. As a conceptual artist and recognized leader in the field of performative craft, Allegra takes weaving off the loom and uses it as a framework to make projects, performances and installations. Allegra's use of tension as creative material allows them to work as a social psychopomp exploring the transformative poetics of death, memorial and regeneration.
Allegra’s work has been featured in ARTFORUM, Art Journal and Emergency Index Vol. 8 and in exhibitions at the Museum of Arts and Design, the Arts Incubator in Chicago, John Michael Kohler Arts Center, Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, Center for Craft Creativity and Design and the Museum of the African Diaspora among others. Their commissions include performances for SFMOMA, de Young Museum and The Wattis Institute.
Allegra's writing has been featured in Theater, TEXTILE: Cloth and Culture, American Craft Magazine, Manual, Cream City Review, Foglifter Journal and HYSTERIA Magazine among others. They have been the recipient of numerous awards including the United States Artists Fellowship, Burke Prize, Gerbode Choreographer Award, Art Matters Fellowship, Mike Kelley Artist Project Grant and Joseph Henry Jackson Literary Award. They live and work in liminal spaces.
Francisco echo Eraso (he/él) is a disabled, trans, Colombian-American interdisciplinary craft artist, curator, educator, arts administrator and accessibility consultant. He is interested in grassroots approaches to disability justice, trans liberation, cooperative textiles and the creative redistribution of resources. His art practice makes evident the construction of value through reproductions and allusions to the color gold and its related histories of mining, capitalist accumulation, decadence, alechemy, and indigenous language and healing practices.
He holds a dual degree in Critical Visual Studies and Fine Arts from Parsons, the New School. He has been an Artist in Residence at Art and Disability Residency, 77Art, and Textile Arts Center. HIs work has been presented at a variety of venues including Columbia University, MAD Museum, and Chashama Gallery in New York, Franklin Streetworks in Connecticut, Mead Museum in Massachusetts, among others.
Francisco currently lives in Brooklyn with his pug, Lunita.
Raisa Kabir is an interdisciplinary artist and weaver based in London. Kabir utilises woven text/textiles, sound, video and performance in her work to materialise concepts concerning the cultural politics of cloth, labour and embodied geographies. Her (un)weaving performances comment on power, production, disability and the queer brown body as a living archive of collective trauma.
She has exhibited work internationally at The Whitworth, The Tetley, Raven Row, Textile Arts Center NYC, The Center for Craft Creativity and Design, Glasgow International and the Ford Foundation Gallery NYC.
She was artist in residence for the British Textile Biennial 2019, and an awarded recipient of the Cove Park Craft and Design residency programme 2019.
Kabir has shared her decolonial textile history research, and lectured at Tate Modern, ICA London, the London College of Fashion, The Courtauld Institute, Royal College of Art, Manchester School of Art, Edinburgh College of Art, Slade School of Fine Art, CSM, and the V&A.
Her research into non mechanical looms, bodies and machines, has taken her to Mexico and Bangladesh.
Sandie (Chun-shan) Yi is an assistant professor in the art therapy and counseling department at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago (SAIC). She is a disabled artist and disability culture worker whose work focuses on unconventional wearable objects and explores the desire and intimacy shared by the disabled bodymind. Her work addresses the impact of ethical and medical decisions made about the body and the boundary between ethics and aesthetics.
Yi’s art, Crip Couture, calls for a recognition of disability as an aesthetic choice and suggests a new genre of wearable art called “crip fashion.” Crip Couture is Yi’s efforts and practice for cultivating care relationships and helping relationships. The latest rendition of Crip Couture researches and archives disability narratives by collecting bodily artifacts, including skin flakes and hair. Crip Couture aims to preserve disability culture and narratives as heritage.
Yi has a PhD in disability studies from the University of Illinois at Chicago, a master of arts in art therapy from SAIC, and a master of fine arts from University of California, Berkeley. Yi’s academic research interests include disability arts and culture, access pedagogy, disability fashion, and disability culture-informed art therapy. In addition, she is in charge of the Disability Culture Activism Lab, a partnering project with Access Living, the independent living center in Chicago.
Image caption: "House Made of Tin (a socially distanced weaving performance)" by Raisa Kabir.