Fafnir Adamites: Interfere (with)

October 4, 2019 - March 7, 2020

Hovering above the ground, dark and dense, Fafnir Adamites’s installation of felted wool and burlap feels overwhelming and potentially suffocating. Adamites’s process of combining the wool and burlap creates a puckered texture in the surface of the piece, resulting in a distorted landscape that fills the gallery and throws the viewer off balance. This discomfort and uncertainty reflect the echoes of trauma in Adamites’s work.

However, her use of highly tactile materials and repetitive, contemplative techniques allows the work to function as a tool for acknowledging, examining, and making sense of painful memories and experiences, thereby diffusing them. Through this process the work is transformed from an oppressive force into a map of healing and self-soothing, inviting viewers to consider their own processes of reckoning with the past.

— Sarah Freeman, Curator

My sculptures act as monuments and reminders of trauma, intuition, and the legacy of emotional turmoil inherited from past generations. Using repetitious processes of felt making, weaving, and other traditional craft techniques allows me to physically engage with and meditate on these concepts.

I frequently work with wool or paper, which I call “chaos structures.” Unlike a woven textile, which is grounded in an orderly grid, chaos structures are open-ended and adaptable. For example, a powerful transformation takes place in making felt when the millions of chaotic fibers bind together, becoming a strong, cohesive, singular piece.

The process of making the work in this exhibit inherently transforms and distorts. When a non-wool material, such as burlap, is added to the traditional wet felt-making process, it is forced to shrink, altering its original woven structure. This intentional rupture in the rigidity and order of the burlap fabric is one step in freeing the materials from their presumed inherent qualities. For me, it metaphorically embodies the hopeful impulse of releasing the individual from the psychic burden of familial inheritance.

— Fafnir Adamites