Anna Malina – Untitled (2013)
My first thought is that knitphilia would love this. And I’m sure she’d have all sorts of intriguing things to say about the interrogation of the notion that work made by women has been historically discounted as not ‘art’ and instead labeled ‘craft’.
As fascinating as I think that angle would be I’m just barely conversant on that topic. So we’ll have to settle for what I know a bit more about–in this case: possible influences.
The tones are reminiscent of Selina Mayer and the surrealist feel is definitely in keeping with ellie-lane-imagery (less the above image and more bearing in mind the dark, vaguely nightmarish effect of Malina’s broader scope of work).
Really, what gets me is for all the inane repetition of adorning photographs with needle work, the thread here actually functions as a legitimate sculptural element.
It’s probably short-sighted but I can’t think of thread as a media of visual representation without thinking of Russell Mills album artwork for nine inch nails The Downward Spiral.
And I can’t think about that cover without tying it into the tradition of Joseph Cornell’s pissing all over the distinctions between sculpture and collage.
But whereas I have mixed feelings about both Mills and Cornell, it feels like Malina’s work has managed to find itself in the interstices between what those two artists considered the limit of their own work and the outer boundary suggested by that limit. But it’s not just dwelling quietly, it’s wildly clawing at the very outer limits in a way that very few artists ever manage.