HABITUS (Ann Hamilton): 2016 Fringe review 78

“Watching a raw material become a single thread, join other thread to become a warp or weft of a cloth or carpet holds for me all the possibilities for making; sewing and writing are for me two parts of the same hand.” ~ Ann Hamilton

ann-hamilton-habitasColossal curtains beautifully billowing with the breeze, are hanging around, literally, throughout the vast Municipal Pier 9 facility, wafting and waiting for visitors to come play with them as part of the dual venue textile/tactile exhibit, HABITUS, by creative visualist Ann Hamilton, organized by the Fabric Workshop and Museum. These Tyvek beauties can be operated by pulleys to make them spin to even larger proportions, and in some cases cause sounds, such as a bell or an accordion. Standing inside one as it spins is quite a sensational experience, and likely to evoke a myriad of feelings. Behind the curtains, towards the back of the pier, is a digital display, and also an active exhibit to check out as well.

But wait, there’s more! HABITUS continues on multiple floors of the Fabric Workshop and Museum, where text and textile items are interwoven throughout the space. Text related to fabric or clothing is laid out for the taking in long rows along walls; there is text on the walls. Historical texts, such as literary commonplace books lay in glass display cases among sewing notions, dye samples, and old time dolls, and a marvelous multitude of fabric samples ranging from silk to wool.  Also looming on the walls are larger components such as rugs, and clothing items, including a porcupine quill coat, to name a few, while in other areas tools and apparatus pertaining to the industry are displayed.  

There is a so much to see, read, and sense, and a shuttle to take you back and forth between venues. Weave it into your schedule! [Ann Hamilton at Municipal Pier 9, 121 North Columbus Boulevard and The Fabric Workshop and Museum 1214 Arch Street] September 17-January 8, 2017; fringearts.com/habitus.


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About the author

Lisa Panzer

Lisa Panzer has worked for many years in theater not only as an actor, but as a director, dramaturg, technical director, lighting designer, stage crew, and roustabout. A few of her favorite past theatrical roles include: Liz Imbrie in Philadelphia Story, Maria in Lend Me a Tenor, Mrs. Tarpey in Spreading the News, Mollie Ralston in Mousetrap, Trinculo in The Tempest, Bernice Roth in Musical Comedy Murders of 1940 and Felicia Dantine in I Hate Hamlet. In addition to theatrical endeavors, Mz. Panzer has also worked as a background performer in television’s Cold Case, Invincible, The Happening, several television commercials, and has played various roles in independent films including Project 21 productions and other commercial acting venues. (See http://www.imdb.com/name/nm3355274/ for additonal information).