Friday, September 16, 2005

the longest potholder

Single, lonely socks.
How I relate to them, as a single woman.
If the blues singer can sing "Sometimes I feel like a motherless child...,"
I can certainly say "Sometimes I feel like a single sock."

Being unattached in a culture filled with couples and families sometimes feels like being that single sock in the sock drawer, never to be worn again. It has lost its mate to the maw of the clothes drier. It has not been used in years. But it is too lovely to throw away.

This is one of the many thoughts that led me to lead a never-ending series of communal, participatory performance events called The Longest Potholder. The Longest Potholder is simultaneously the silliest and the most profound artwork I have ever [not] made.

Why "not made"? Because I create these events so that OTHERS bring THEIR lonely and unwanted socks and hose (CLEAN!!!) to the gallery. OTHERS sit down in a group, at tables. OTHERS cut the socks crosswise into loops, and weave them into potholders. And OTHERS mesh them onto The Longest Potholder, which is now 114 feet long.

Part ONE of The Longest Potholder
When was the last time you went to an art museum, brought ANYTHING (let alone an old sock), and pinned it directly to the wall? Imagine an enormous wall (or several) filled with socks. And imagine anyone who wishes to, getting up with pins to move, add, or take down socks?

Part TWO of The Longest Potholder
Tables with scissors and looms are brought into the gallery. People take socks off the wall, cut them crosswise into loops, and then weave them into potholders, finishing two parallel sides, and leaving two parallel sides raw. The raw sides then get meshed onto The Longest Potholder. Thus it lengthens.

Part THREE of The Longest Potholder
Each individual who participates at any level in The Longest Potholder adds her/his name to the list of Potholder Participants. The pages and pages of names are laminated and always exhibited with the piece.

October 7, from 6 to 10 pm, brings The Longest Potholder to the Armory Northwest. This is an enormous honor and acknowledgment.

Start saving those single socks (clean, please!).


Anonymous bp said...


And I always forget to bring you them...

9/17/2005 7:21 AM  

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