Cultural Fabric

November 2, 2016 – December 4, 2016
de Young Museum | Kimball Education Gallery

Miguel Arzabe shows a new series of large-scale weavings made from paper ephemera—posters, flyers, hand-outs—collected from art exhibitions. Drawing inspiration from both the traditions of indigenous textiles and modernist abstract painting, Arzabe's weavings are physical archives of cultural output and raise questions of authorship, labor, and how value is created. While Arzabe weaves on a Navajo-inspired loom using de Young exhibition posters, museum visitors have the opportunity to learn simple weaving techniques by working with art magazines and auction catalogs

Screening in the exhibition space is an homage to the indigenous tradition of weaving, the 1995 short film Beauty Before Me: Navajo Weavers, by Dr. Michael Van Wagenen. The film focuses on the art and teachings of the Navajo culture as expressed in the weaving of Stella Cly, an artist who passes on the tradition to her granddaughter Shauna.