Order and Disorder: Alighiero Boetti by Afghan Women

Overview

Order and Disorder looks at the cross-cultural context and collaborative nature of Aligheiero Boetti's iconic artworks. The original, often large-scale works in his series Mappe (Maps), Tutto (Everything), and "squared word" were created in needle and thread by women in Afghanistan and in Pakistani refugee camps following the Soviet invasion in 1979, under the direction of Boetti (1940-1994).

Photographs of the artworks and of Afghan women embroidering them are accompanied by ...

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Overview

Order and Disorder looks at the cross-cultural context and collaborative nature of Aligheiero Boetti's iconic artworks. The original, often large-scale works in his series Mappe (Maps), Tutto (Everything), and "squared word" were created in needle and thread by women in Afghanistan and in Pakistani refugee camps following the Soviet invasion in 1979, under the direction of Boetti (1940-1994).

Photographs of the artworks and of Afghan women embroidering them are accompanied by examples of embroidered garments and textiles made by Afghanistan's diverse peoples. Such items reveal the country's complex demography and illustrate the kinds of embroideries that were widely traded during the years that Boetti visited.

Christopher G. Bennett is the Dean's Postdoctoral Fellow in Contemporary Art at the University of Delaware. Roy Hamilton is senior curator of Asian and Pacific Collections at the Fowler Museum at UCLA. Alma Ruiz is a senior curator at the Museum of Contemporary Art Los Angeles. Photographer Randi Malkin Steinberger collaborated with Alighiero Boetti on two previous books, Accunto Pantheon and Boetti by Afghan People.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
From 1971 to 1994, Italian artist Alighiero Boetti designed a large body of textile work, called the arazzi, which was hand-embroidered by Afghan women working first in Kabul, and then in refugee camps in Pakistan. The collaborative nature of these pieces place them at an intersection of Central Asian craft traditions and mid-to-late 20th century "high art," and this volume—published in conjunction with the exhibit at UCLA's Fowler Museum—is an excellent exploration of the artistic process and final works. Boetti's approach mirrors and exposes the realities of globalization, creating an ambiguity that "allows us to see not just a stunning historical accomplishment, but also something of ourselves." Certainly, there is something pleasing and beguiling in Ordine e Disordine, 199 brightly colored square embroideries hung opposite each other: 100 arranged in an orderly square pattern, and 99 chaotically poised in counterbalance. Similarly, a vivid, large, and seemingly abstract arazzi work from 1988-9, entitled Tutto ("Everything"), a kind of transnational collage, is actually composed of the contours of (mostly "Western") images such as wine bottles, sunglasses, and bikinis. Alighiero was lenient in his color schemes, allowing for creative leeway on the part of the women, and eventually, the artist fractured his own identity by splitting apart his first and last name with the Italian for "and," signing these compelling works "Alighiero e Boetti by Afghan People." Color photos. (Feb.)
From the Publisher
"The collaborative nature of these pieces places them at an intersection of Central Asian craft traditions and mid-to-late 20th century 'high art,' and this volume . . . is an excellent exploration of the artistic process and final works." -Nonfiction Reviews, Publishers Weekly, May 2012
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780977834488
  • Publisher: Fowler Museum at UCLA
  • Publication date: 4/3/2012
  • Pages: 132
  • Sales rank: 1,483,154
  • Product dimensions: 10.09 (w) x 9.98 (h) x 0.54 (d)

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