4. Juli 2020

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Starry Night

by Sophie Utikal, 2020
Textile, 1,05 x 1,65 m

»In my artworks I combine textile fragments into self-portraits in large-format fabric pictures.
I use textile, the material of our clothes and therefore the negative form of my body, to transform situations of my life that have shaped me. I am aiming to empower not only myself but other Women of Color who share experiences of fighting back against oppression. Therefore bringing my past into the present and opening it up to an experience of resilience for the viewer.
My technique, in which the black thread remains visible, is based on textile works that are made by women in my family in Colombia and with which I have been familiar since childhood. In the pictures I use the representation of my body as a starting point to tell stories based on traumatic as well as pleasurable experiences of migration and self-empowerment as a woman of color in Austria.
Departing from a decolonial perspective, my textile works are devoted to forms of knowledge beyond rationality: feeling, perceiving and being as physical knowledge processes. In western cultures, non-white people experience alienation from their own bodies through the somatic norm of being white. I am also affected and therefore constantly seek for a new awareness that involves the body as an agent in a possible healing process. My works are informed by my practical experience as a bodytherapist working mostly with racialized people and their ways of dealing with their fears and pains in a white society.«

www.sofiutikal.net

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