Fading Mantras exists of a little book and a two-day performative event that took place in Paviljoen Welgelegen, a monumental building in the city of Haarlem. The pavilion -built by banker Henry Hope in the 18th Century, which was once the home of Louis Napoleon and Wilhelmina of Prussia and currently houses the offices of the provincial executives of North Holland- and its artifacts are subject to continuous restorations and maintenance, a recurring (anti-aging) process.
In this continuing undoing of age, the story of a series of woven tapestries especially caught my fiber-connoisseuristic eye.
The six wall pieces, designed by Chris de Moor in the 1930’s, have aged, faded, from their 70 years in the sun, which has made their images of different areas of the province of North Holland hardly recognizable.
An initial request was sent out to textile restoration specialist Sadegh Memarian, who proposed to turn the tapestries around and to carefully redirected all the ends of the yarn that are sticking out of the backside to the front, or the new back instead of producing replicas.
Materially the same, but rejuvenated and mirrored the pieces are placed back.
In collaboration with Miriam van Rijsingen, Sanja Oud, Roselinde Bon and Andjela Culaja, we reflected in our personal ways on the aging tapestries and the methods to turn the evidence of time around, as well as on age and aging as concepts and experiences in our lives and the lives of women around us and bundled our stories in a small publication.
The modest little book was presented by Marie Claire Gellings, Fien Brakkee, Alice Ke Ma, Corina van Beelen, Casey Simone Cooper, Marijn Biekart, Roselinde Bon and Sarah Jayne Prijn. Three performers at the time, each group reading one of the contributions in canon before sitting down and enacting a (rejuvinating) facial massage with a jade roller, while using the video-equipment in the space that usually hosts meetings between the different parties of the province government.
Togehter, we wrote the effects of time and radical or not so radical cuts, that bring a younger version of us back, but never exactly the same
it’s rather a distorted version, a mirrored image, a materially more complex reiteration of