Exhibition Review: A Thread of Execution

Carrie Sieh’s  Content Creators and Luxuriated Bodies

Carrie Sieh’s Content Creators and Luxuriated Bodies

Dimensions Variable, Miami

By Michelle A. M. Miller

The artist-run space Dimensions Variable presents an intimate and engaging group exhibition in their third-floor location at the downtown Miami Dade College campus. A Thread of Execution, on view through December 29th, features eleven works by eleven artists who employ textile and process in conceptually complex forms. This exhibition juxtaposes units of computer code with the warp and weft of textiles—two seemingly distinct but equally labor-intensive processes that require sequence and repetition. Here, tangible and intangible overlap and subvert traditional notions of cloth-based art without sacrificing the tactile qualities of this ancient medium.

The subdued university setting may contribute to the overall sense that one is invited to spend undisturbed time viewing these works. Fabrication techniques catalogued include knitting, crochet, collage, braiding, weaving, embroidery, dyeing, printing, painting, sewing and cutting—haptic processes that invite but, here, do not permit touch. The exhibition presents a cerebral and aesthetically enticing collection with nary a speck of havoc—there are blips and bumps among the stitches but these are subtle and seductive material glitches and the exhibition for the most part parallels the crisp code that figures in the curator’s text.

Julia Bland’s mystically resplendent Midnight Morning and Margo Wolowiec’s painterly Catch Up/1983 must be seen in person to fully appreciate their nuanced facture. Equally striking are the cultural narratives embedded in other works. Indira Allegra’s 32 Harnesses Controlled by a Switch is an uninhibited, fabricated coupling of digital and erotic while Carrie Sieh’s Content Creators and Luxuriated Bodies presents a fascinating commentary on gendered labor.

These works on view are quietly, sensually, and intellectually satisfying in unexpected ways. While many artists may abandon the analog for the digital, A Thread of Execution reminds us that humans are still seduced by real-world craft and objects rooted in reality. It is a refreshing respite from the accelerated virtualization of contemporary life.