Yarn·dez·vous is a growing wearable quilt featuring textiles from the Middle East and the United States. This cultural fabric is designed to map identities, migration and cultural encounters of its participants. Hexagons and stars of the quilt can be transformed into individual letterman’s jackets and vice versa: the jackets unzip flat into geometric elements that form the larger quilt. The project name is a hybrid of the words “yarn” and “ran-dez-vous”. “Yarn” refers both to a thread used for making fabrics, as well as to storytelling – while “ran-dez-vous” of course refers to a meeting or a romance. The project is part of the CULTURUNNERS, an artistic expedition aimed at uncovering interconnected cultural territories and histories between the Middle East and United States.
Project participants were asked to bring textiles from the places of their residence featuring the color code of the Sadu (Arabic weaving), which were combined with textiles from Boston. The first phase of the project encompasses 12 jackets completed with these hybrid textiles. The project is in the state of an ongoing transformation and customization, developing personal logos, letters and stars, to be embroidered onto the jackets. Some jackets may be further transformed into variations on tunics, kaftans, abayas, dresses and shirts, inspired from East and West. Over time, as more and more textiles are collected from project participants, the Yarn-dez-vous will change its color and patterns, becoming a map of the growing CULTURUNNERS community.
Azra Akšamija, Yarn-dez-vous, 2014 (ongoing)
Mixed media: textiles, zippers, trimming.
Credits: Project author (concept and design): Azra Akšamija. Project team: Karina Silvester and Lillian Harden (research and prototype development), Andy Boit (fabrication). Conceptual contributions: Regina Möller. Fabrication help: Seth Avecilla. Textiles donated y: Ahmed Mater, Arwa Alneami, Arthur Tres, Katrina Weber Ashour, Matthew Mazzotta, Regina Möller, Ziad El Sayed.