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'Knitwork' - a performance by Germaine Koh.

British Museum, Great Court, 20 -22 February & 2 -4 March 2002.

Canadian artist, Germaine Koh performed her 'Knitwork', a vast continuous garment knitted by the artist from recycled garments. The British Museum installation and performance of 'Knitwork' took place exactly ten years after it was first began back in February 1992. Germaine Koh has a life-long commitment to carry on adding to the work currently some 80m long which was acquired by the Art Gallery of Ontario, Toronto. It is an unusual work of art in that it resists the traditional constraints placed on works in museum collections - the artist is allowed continued access to it, it is of no fixed dimensions and it can leave the confines of the museum.

"It is a life-long work generated by unravelling my castoff garments and reknitting the wool into a single ever-growing blanket. Recording the ongoing passage of time and effort, the work develops as an archive of monument to the artifacts that comprise it. Its massiveness, the result of this steady labour, is a stubborn, public manifestation of mundane activity, and a measure of commitment. In the particular details of the work, which register variations of process and materials, one may retrace a history of decisions made. Although its slow accredition of strata of obsolete goods might recall inexorable, seemingly geological, processes, its limits are human, the work will be finished when I cease (to be). The work resists associations with practices as distinct as minimalism and needlework, as much by its excessiveness as by its impenetrable mundanity. Its size and ambition seem to aspire to the sublime or to seek a kind of transcendence through ordinary materials and labour, yet at the same time, in its weighty psychic accretion of everyday habits and mundane debris, it is a resolutely absurd object. Both impersonal and intimate, the work supports other incongruities: at once excessive and banal, rigorous and formless, it is a practical test of the imagination." Germaine Koh

To see other work by Germaine Koh visist her website.

Germaine Koh 'Knitwork'
Germaine Koh 'Knitwork'
Germaine Koh 'Knitwork'

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