skip to Main Content
BFA Textile-Body-Space

Jennifer Caneva

Att göra någonting av ingenting

What would openness be without the uncertain? Uncertainty points to something unknown. My exam project is about creating a manual to get to know the unknown from an explorative process. To avoid the uncertain is to never face the unknown that can appear in an open process. The uncertain has led me to trust the process and experience the unknown as something mysterious. Some references I discovered that work with what I am exploring have described the unknown as something unpredictable, precarious, uncertain, hidden and lost. Rebecca Solnit, Inger Christensen, Emma Cocker and Yoko Ono have inspired my work to take a certain direction. In Getting lost: A field guide (2005), Solnit believes that it is the artist’s work to let in the unknown and the unpredictable. She believes that the artistic work has its origins in getting lost, meeting resistance, obstacles and fears.

My artistic practice alters between experiencebased art and educational inquires. The approach I explore is about integrating processes in relation to textile body and space. To do something out of nothing, a guide to the uncertain, is a manual with open instructions that invites me to get to know the unknown as an essential condition in my artistic process. The manual is about discovering connections and turning perspectives. It consists of three parts with attempts to instruct unknown happenings in an allegorical order consisting of an alphabet, text with hidden meanings and subtle repetitions of interactive attempts that turn textiles into a subject. The title; “To do something out of nothing” comes from breaking down something to nothing, starting from something blunt, empty, questioning being and doing, nothing that turns into something.

The idea behind the manual is to open up to aesthetic experiences. The attention is directed to listen. Listening makes me pay attention to what is going on. Sound comes out from something and needs a receiver to resonate which can be similar to a dialogue. Sounds can embody, be perceived as relational, transient and move through space. The instructions in the manual aim for actions that create situations for the unknown.

I alter between textile/art, text/dialogue, photo/sound Interactive participations and experimental explorations within parallel processes. Deconstruction has driven my work into a textbased dialogue with the intention to expand my experience of what artistic practice can be. I seek inspiration from a wide numbers of artists, philosophers, researchers and activists who practice art and problematize how to look at something from different perspectives. Part of the Labyrinth (1982) by the poet Inger Christensen describes the world in metaphors. Christensen wrote a comment on the renaissance philosopher René Descartes’s “I think, therefor I am” (1637). Descartes has characterized the view that the intellect is separated from the psychic. Christensen’s response to Descartes was “I think, therefor I am part of the labyrinth” (Letter in April, 1979). It puts everything into a bigger perspective. The labyrinth becomes a symbol of moving in complex systems between order and chaos. My exploration has taken different directions where states of disorder and being lost has been important for the process. Christensen organized words in alphabetical order and used language as a foundation. “To count in itself is to be part of something bigger and to look at something from different perspectives”. The artist Emma Cocker has worked within the large scales and researches about artistic tactics. She states that the unknown, unpredictable and uncertain is essential for an artistic process. The research focuses on the process of artistic practice and of thinking-in-action. The manual for the unknown is unpredictable. The instructions lead to happenings that lead to unexpected actions that require a comprehensive process. Documented images become proofs that the manual has been tried out. Images of sequences taken with a self-triggered camera become signs for impermanent acts. The visual part is turned into unpredictable compositions that “occurred”. Textile objects taken out of context placed in to an empty room could represent the white cube. The pictures visualize my attempts. Items taken from their everyday lives depict something trivial and absurd. Nothing turns into something that becomes signs for the unknown. In the process I have portrayed a textual appearance with the intention to describe something intrinsic within textile materials and to experiences the unknown while following the vague instructions of the manual. Describing the unknown has led me to the incomprehensible, to seek to break it down into metaphors. The manual seeks to explore the unknown as a phenomenon by inviting to aesthetic experiences. I challenge the aesthetics beyond beauty to widen the perspectives and get to experience something from inside and out. The purpose of the manual is to explore a subjective participation where I am involved whit in the process. Without knowing what is happening, I have reconstructed the unknown by interacting with textile materials, describing it with words and transforming expressions into happenings that become signs of something uncertain. The textile acts like a catalyst for the process and leaves traces of something unknown.

Jennifer Caneva_Inledning till instruktionmanualen (1) (pdf)

Jennifer Caneva_Att göra någonting av ingenting, en guide för det ovissa från a-ö (2) (pdf)