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Proposals: Stitching Time: Assembly Complex

Stitching Time: An Assembly Complex

Proposal by artists Dilbar Ashimbai (KG) and Vargas-Suarez Universal (NYC) for AUCA, Bishkek, Kyrgyz Republic

Dilbar Ashimbaeva and Rafael Vargas-Suarez, a.k.a.Vargas-Suarez Universal, propose to create a large- scale collaborative, site-specific public artwork for AUCA's forum wall entitled, “Stitching Time: An Assembly Complex”. The artwork will be a visual panorama referencing the landscape, culture, and historical use of materials in past and present Kyrgyz culture. The mediums used for this multi-panel artwork will be digital printing, acrylic painting, embroidery and stitching- from traditional to digital. The overall composition will evoke layering, tectonic activity, landscape, astronomy and topography by way of geometric abstraction and scientific visualization. Both artists' design and conceptual intentions are inspired by our sense of time and the vastness of the cosmos. Both artist's ancestral cultures' deep appreciation of the cosmos will be reflected in this artwork by way of presenting the oldest known subject with a new perspective for a new setting. AUCA's architecture, with its open and transparent concept is an apt setting to present an artwork containing similar, formal and conceptual frameworks for both the students and visitors to experience. As a focal point of the AUCA campus, the forum wall is an important site that is already the backdrop for many different events and functions that give a vibrancy to the space.

Stitching Time

In the vocabulary of cosmology, time and space are considered a fabric, culminating into a tapestry of our awareness all the known stars, galaxies and matter in the universe. Similarly, fabrics have always been present in every culture creating signifiers, identities and substance resulting in designs, traditions and artifacts everywhere on Earth. String, with its linear purpose, ties fabric together. These complexities and methodologies have evolved into advanced textiles, weavings and new materials fully responsible for the advent of the computer. Our proposal seeks to contain many of these aspects from the traditional to the computerized all tied together through stitching across various surfaces and materials.

Assembling the sequence

From the moment the two artists met in person in Bishkek in October of 2015, both artists expressed a strong mutual admiration for each others work. Dilbar's status and accomplishments as a leading fashion designer in Central Asia have established her as a leading figure representing Central Asian culture. Vargas-Suarez experience as a muralist in the Americas and Europe have allowed his work to develop improvisational and site specific projects as both permanent and temporary public artworks. Vargas-Suarez's work has recently been more and more influenced by textiles, fabrics and weavings, especially from Siberia, Central Asia, North America and South America. Since December of 2015 a constant close and long distance dialogue as well as an exchange of ideas has developed into a real collaborative process for Dilbar and Vargas-Suarez.

“Stitching Time: An Assembly Complex” is an opportunity to fuse ideas about time, landscape, culture and connectivity within the Topografica concept already presented at AUCA. The artwork will tell a story of a changing landscape, both physical and cultural, in a setting where young people are experiencing those changes first hand. The artist's respective experiences will nurture the type of collaboration rarely achievable across such distances, language and cultural barriers. This project aims to transcend these boundaries to create an artwork containing some of the very elements that form and connect the Central Asian past, present and future in AUCA's unique environment.

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