Rini Hurkmans
2023 – 2024

Fondazione Antonio Ratti

The exhibition Seth Siegelaub: textile art theory at the Fondazione Antonio Ratti in Como in Italy is on show until 7 January 2024.

Overview of Seth's Study at the Ala Ovest building of the Fondazione Antonio Ratti in Como.

In room 5 called Seth's Study, which is transformed into a representation of Seth’s actual living and working space, the conceptual artwork Flag of Compassion (2002-present) and the glass and steel wool sculpture Untitled (1991) are exhibited amongst the work of other artists with whom Seth was in dialogue.

Installation view of Nevertheless at the Capriccio building of Fondazione Antonio Ratti in Como.
Nevertheless, 2001, video work, 0:13, loop.

The video work Nevertheless is exhibited among the book and textile collections of Seth Siegelaub. Co-curator of the exhibition and director of the Egress Foundation, Marja Bloem, said
“Although Siegelaub did not intentionally acquire contemporary works that relate to textiles, he was interested in the way Hurkmans is aware of the role that textile plays in the daily life of different cultures and how she brings together various traditions to explore common values.”

In the video Nevertheless, made in Morocco, one sees the endless repetition of two girls trying to make one stitch in their embroidery.

Installation view of Blossom at the chapel of Fondazione Antonio Ratti in Como.
Blossom, 2006, video installation, 2 screens, 7:00, sound.

Curator and director of the Egress Foundation, Marja Bloem, wrote the following about Seth Siegelaub and the video work Blossom

“Siegelaub was interested in how Hurkmans shows the use and meaning of textile in different cultures in daily life. Additionally, Hurkmans’ focus on tactility corresponds with Siegelaub’s attention to the materiality of books and textile. The fabrics in the video Blossom show this tactility and the careful and loving way the curtains are placed in the memorial glass cases of the young men who died during the war. This expression of notions of absence and loss, in relation to ethics and politics, is characteristic of Hurkmans’ work.”

The video installation Blossom is exhibited in the chapel of Fondazione Antonio Ratti as part of the retrospective Siegelaub exhibition.
Blossom consists of two screens next to each other. On one screen one sees photographs of dead Iranian young men (martyrs from the 1980-1988 Iraq-Iran war), shown in a small glass case, a symbolic bridal room. In these memorial cases, relatives have placed memorabilia and flowers as well as transparent curtains.
The other screen shows recordings of the lively textile markets in Iran. The market's merchants are always men. The women who shop the colorful textiles are most of the time entirely dressed in black. From the noises of the market slowly rises the reverberation of a procession passing through.