Mary Alice Dixon-Hinson: Fabrications (March 11, 1987)



Andrew Zago introduces Mary Alice Dixon-Hinson.

Dixon-Hinson cites the Acropolis and Marc-Antoine Laugier’s Primitive Hut as part of an analysis of rationalist representation in Western cultural history. She reviews the use of perspective in the Renaissance to create illusory space. She examines Piranesi’s etchings, noting the absence of people, and characterizing this as a metaphor for the reality of 18th and 19th century city planning.

Dixon-Hinson presents some findings of a year in China. She argues that the basis of making in China is not the representation of nature, but the fabrication process, specifically weaving. She examines weavings which depict structures woven into the earth and discusses at the techniques and materials used. She documents traditional Chinese costumes and their variations, explaining how they tie the wearer to history.

Dixon-Hinson concludes with an examination of contemporary work that treats artifacts as dense, artificial or manufactured geographies. She proposes an architecture that acts as a symbolic action instead of an inhabitable construction. She speculates on the replacement of the tapestry, used in eastern culture, with the window in western culture. She examines the topic of performance as it relates to the human body, submitting a selection of contemporary works where the body is given a physical presence.

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