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Sabrina Gschwandtner

Artist Statement Submitted 2018

I work from a collection of old documentary films that were deaccessioned from the Fashion Institute of Technology. These films depict textiles as art, craft, fashion, military camouflage, political expression, and scientific metaphor. I cut and sew them into configurations based on popular American quilt motifs, dismantling the narratives of the films and re-interpreting them. The work is displayed in windows or framed light boxes, engaging the notion of filmic suture in reconfigured form. 
The formal logic of my sewn designs are based on popular American quilt motifs including log cabin squares and "string quilts." In each piece I combine footage to create a dialogue between the images inside the film frames and the patterns that emerge from the overall quilt designs. 
My work connects experimental filmmaking methods to the forgotten history of early cinema, which borrowed sewing mechanisms for advancing sprocket holes and employed women as editors because they could sew.

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