a group show curated by Zoë Schneider
Scutelliphily is a group exhibition of contemporary patches. This exhibition seeks to examine three central themes: personal branding, cultures of display, and the role of commodity in a non-traditional art context. Patches are textural, symbolic, and imply the passing of an action or event. A patch has a rich history and can cover a wide variety of subjects, as well as being rooted in craft and fibre based technologies. Patches have served as an assertion of political alliance, aesthetic adornment, an ode to pop-culture, music promotion, branding, craftivism, etc. Patches are currently seeing a resurgence in a youth culture that is thoroughly informed by Instagram and Tumblr communities. The proliferation of a hyper stylized aesthetic coupled with the accessibility of products via web based commerce has seen this technology surge in popularity. Artists are utilizing the medium to commercialize their practice, participate in/criticize/glorify/acknowledge build-a-brand identity constructs, turn away from the institution in showing their work, and to explore notions of craft.
Fundamental to a patch is its connection to the body. This is an object whose agency is built upon its placement and movement through public life. This exhibition will consider the implications of moving a wearable object into the institution and off of the body, acknowledging the long-standing conversation on art and craft.
Much of the appeal of a patch comes from its accessibility. They are generally affordable, small, and easy to acquire. When an artist makes a patch what happens to the value of the object? How does their practice effect the perceived value of the patch? Is it still accessible? Is it still affordable? The push to create affordable, accessible art for non-traditional collectors found in craftivism and DIY art scenes will be at play in this exhibition as each artist has designed a saleable machine-made patch to be sold in each venue and online.
Scutelliphily invites the viewer to consider the essential narratives that are inherent within an artist made patch. This exhibition can open the door for unique public programming opportunities and workshops, and initiate a dialogue on commercialism, display, and identity branding.
Flin Flon, MB
C2 Centre for Craft
Portage & District Arts Centre
Portage La Prairie, MB
Burrows Trails Arts Council
Each artist in the exhibition is invited to design one patch that will be made into multiples. These patches will be for sale either in the gallery space or in an online shop. This is an effort to create accessibility and democratize the ownership of art in a nod to the nature of craft and craftivism as well as create revenue streams for the artists involved.
Method of Display
Each piece will be lightly stitched to a mass-produced white denim vest supplied by the curator. The vests will sit on a hanger-like armature that extends from the wall. The use of crisp, white denim vests as the mode for display serves as a metaphor for the relationship between the institution and art.
Audience engagement activities include a station set up in the gallery with various craft materials. Participants will be invited to make handmade patches. We will provide vests for participants to pin their patches on for display.