Común Unidad presents the works of participants in a series of workshops facilitated by artist Soledad Fatima Muñoz and coordinated by curator and writer Yasmin Nurming-Por.
Two dominant forms of artistic production — the arpillera and lanigrafia — became vital to communicating the mass disappearances happening in Chile during the Pinochet dictatorship in the 1970’s with the outside world. Made by collectives of women out of textile scraps embroidered on burlap or in men’s prisons out of yarn and glue, these methods became ways in which personal experiences articulated the struggles of wider communities.
Revisiting these crafts practices within Canada, Muñoz facilitated these workshops with pioneering arpilleristas Belgica Castro Fuentes and Hector Maturana Bañados in Brampton, Davenport-Perth and at the Textile Museum of Canada. In each gathering groups of strangers came together to learn the techniques, bring their own perspectives and share their stories. What emerged from these workshops were new networks of individuals who found connections through making that are immeasurable by the contents of these walls alone.
Accompanying this series of collective works are two new textiles by Muñoz.
Soledad Fatima Munoz is an interdisciplinary artist, cultural worker and researcher born in her family’s exile in Canada and raised in Rancagua, Chile. Her work seeks to explore the ever-changing social spaces we inhabit and the archival properties of cloth. Through the investigation of the materiality of sound and the understanding of the woven structure as the continuation of our interconnected social gesture, her practice seeks to fabricate embodied instances that participate in the construction of a more equitable society and the creation of new archives of resistance.
In 2017, she co-founded CURRENT “Feminist Electronic Art Symposium and Mentorship,” a multidisciplinary, electronic art program working with women, non-binary, and BIPOC (Black, Indigenous and People of Colour) artists in Canada and beyond. Her latest collaborative audiovisual project entitled “La Parte de Atras de la Arpillera” features a collection of interviews with Chilean textile workers whose experiences stitch together the country’s history of resistance. Soledad has been the recipient of several awards, including the City of Vancouver Mayor’s Arts Award for Emerging Artist, The School of the Art Institute of Chicago New Artist Society Full Merit Scholarship, the Emily Carr University of Art + Design President’s Media Award and most recently the Textile Society of America Student and New Professionals Award.
Yasmin Nurming–Por is a curator and arts administrator based in Toronto, Canada. She has held curatorial and research positions at Sheridan College, Images Festival, Art Gallery of Ontario and Walter Phillips Gallery amongst others. Recent independent projects include the National Museum of Women in the Arts (Washington, DC), Alberta Foundation for the Arts (Edmonton, AB), Art Gallery of Guelph (ON), Video Pool (Winnipeg, MB), grunt gallery (Vancouver, BC), aka artist run (Saskatoon, SK), and Trinity Square Video (Toronto, ON). She is a member of international research group Lower Frequencies which explores the roles of socially-engaged practices in the public sphere. Her current research centres on the roles of permanent collections as tied to nationalism in the settler-colonial and post-colonial societies of the former British Empire.