Franciska Nowel Camino – Interwoven Epistemologies. The Affirmative Reception of Latin American Textile Techniques in Art since 1950

In relation to the respective current political and social situation, the interest of artists in indigenous, supposedly precolonial, and historical artifacts and their traditions have gradually increased since the first archaeological excavations of the late 19th century. Catalyzed by colonial efforts in archeological excavation, textile art became a political discourse driven medium and material on a broader scale. In her paper, Franciska Nowel Camino ties the loose ends of the state of research together and criticizes the often-reproduced stereotype of the recollection of the past. In addition, she shows the covalence and contemporaneity of the adopted Latin American textile traditions. In a new and progressive way, she discusses the hitherto neglected plural temporalities on an intellectual and corporeal level and connects them to the material contexts. In her Paper, she shines new light on Elvira Espejo Aycas video work Jiwasan amayusa / El pensar de nuestras filosofías (2019). In the engagement with the textiles, the artist not only succeeds in adding a new tangible dimension to the medium, Espejo Ayca also refers to the contemporary tendencies and cultural traditions of textile(s). She combines the textile material as well as the techniques with the social, political and historical connotations, and processes them affirmatively in her contemporary reception. Here, Nowel Camino stresses the importance of incorporated plural epistemologies in the analyses of the artworks. According to her argument, the artistic reception of textile traditions and technologies exceeds the material-based approach; it is the conscious and affirmative reception of epistemologies of the south, in which temporalities form an essential part. Consequently, it is the textile or the reference to the textile that determines space and time in the artworks. Here, the textile can stand for indigenous cultural traditions and their attraction as well as for historical significance, but also for gestures, living spaces and (time) resources.

Franciska Nowel Camino

Since April 2020, Franciska Nowel Camino is a PhD candidate and a research assistant at the Academy of Fine Arts Dresden. Her focus is on modern and contemporary art history and theory. After studying art history, archeology and Romanic literature at Goethe-University Frankfurt (2013-19), she completed her Master specializing in transcultural art history. For her Master thesis, she successfully organized a research trip to Lima funded by the DAAD (Aug. 2019). Before starting her dissertation, she worked as a research assistant at the Master’s program Curatorial Studies and in the Städel Museum’s prints and drawings department. As a founding member and editor of the scientific art-history-blog the article, Nowel Camino enables students to publish their academic papers. Her texts already appeared in (online) magazines, encyclopedias, exhibition catalogs and collected volumes. Most recently, she gave a talk on Quipus in contemporary art at the 35th CIHA World Congress São Paulo and contributed to the Unlearning Temporalities Workshop from Carleton University. In her dissertation she investigates the intermedial reception of Latin American textile techniques as an artistic strategy within postcolonial discourses and global processes. In this regard, she analyses the contemporary artistic engagements with weaving patterns and structures, embroidery, and knotting techniques such as those observed in Quipus. Rather than simply emphasizing the cultural weight of Latin American textile traditions, the intention of her thesis is to demonstrate the expressive potential of these textiles.


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