Forbidden Symmetries
Letter 01 (European Kunsthalle), Vienna 2015
Lace-Making and Penrose Tiling

Concept and Realisation by Dorothee Goerke and Katrin Mayer

European Kunsthalle @ chambre d´amis / Semperdepot, Vienna
invited by Vanessa Joan Müller and Dorit Margreiter

In "Forbidden Symmetries", Katrin Mayer combines ideas on quasicrystals and their aperiodic patterns with the art of lace-making that is based on mathematical and geometric calculations producing symmetrical patterns. Although lace is considered a supplementary textile decoration, it follows a complex logic that combines seriality, geometry and an abstract translation of natural forms into ornamentation. "Forbidden Symmetries" transfers a quasicrystalline structure in an expansive piece of lace and thus confronts two systems that show similarities, but also essential differences regarding repeatability, structural rules, historicity and gender.
In his writings, Gottfried Semper (1803-1879) repeatedly draws connections between nodes, networks, braids, lace works, mats, fabrics and architecture. Going back to Semper and his revision of the aesthetic and ideological polarization of surface and substance, autonomous creation and decoration, Katrin Mayer unfolds on site at the historical Semperdepot in Vienna a visual and discursive linking of various considerations on lace work as an interaction of intertwined threads. In her project, both the secret language of the bobbin letter and the abstract knowledge transfer of disparate fields are addressed, which in turn create new sets of relationships.

Katrin Mayer was invited by European Kunsthalle. As a discursive platform without a physical location of its own, European Kunsthalle has developed its own approach to institutional practice. The current activities focus on decentralised projects as well as a collaborative structure. As an institution without a permanent site, European Kunsthalle is targeting overall performative presence: it exists in the very places where its projects are happening.


together with:

Joint Book Launch

Textiles: Open Letter, edited by Rike Frank and Grant Watson in cooperation with Sabine Folie, Georgia Holz, and Susanne Titz for the Generali Foundation, Vienna, and Museum Abteiberg, Mönchengladbach, Sternberg Press, Berlin, 2015.

Textile Theorien der Moderne. Alois Riegl in der Kunstkritik, edited by Sabeth Buchmann and Rike Frank, PoLYpeN / b_books, Berlin 2015.