Chronolace Studies: The Standstill Crochet

curator: Basak Senova
artist: Ebru Kurbak
spatial design: Ebru Kurbak and Basak Senova
production: Mathias Janko
venue: Fabrikraum
coordinates: Vienna, 2020
Chronolace Studies: The Standstill Crochet, an ongoing project by Ebru Kurbak. Chronolace Studies explores the potentials of handmade lace as a medium for the early mechanical precinema devices. The research unfolds a parallel methodology between engineering and lace making that opens up a new critical discourse based on observing and practicing feminised skills in light of the technological advancements in history. Kurbak investigates political dimensions of seemingly mundane things by highlighting research, invention, and display of information as political processes. She sees Chronolace Studies as a continuous open-ended material research process that reinterprets an existing spatial structure in gender politics, which suggests a potential to challenge the accredited aesthetics at large.

Kurbak started to work on Chronolace Studies and her collaboration with the curator Basak Senova in the course of the CrossSections project (2017-2019). From this overarching research, she extracts a fragment, The Standstill Crochet (2021), composed of found and crafted crochet doilies and mechanical instruments. In this respect, the exhibition contains four experimental hybrid objects, connecting two distinct 19th Century techniques: domestic crochet lace making and mechanical motion picture technology. While the objective in precinema devices was to create the illusion of motion, hand crocheted doilies were intended for precise and uniform repetitive patterns. Kurbak creates a tension between these two techniques by producing a standstill effect, which furthermore reveals the qualities and nuances of handcraft.