Before there was a gallery, the only items hanging above the garages at Schindler’s Mackey Apartments were sheets and clothing. A series of parallel clotheslines were rigged by the MAK Center Artists and Architects in Residence atop the once-gravel rooftop, picking up the sea air and Santa Ana winds crossing through Mid-City Los Angeles. For some years, generations of residents maintained this make-shift drying system prior to the installation of more high-tech appliances.
Borrowing from Gertrude Stein’s 1926 lecture Composition as Explanation, Constanze Schweiger remembers this act as making “a natural composition in the world as it has been.” For Continuous Composition, Schweiger will dye a 39 x 9 ft. roll of cotton muslin with turmeric powder to hang for drying on a steel wire spanned across the length of the Garage Top Gallery space. The dyed material will remain installed at the gallery for the duration of the exhibition, where it will be exposed to direct sunlight. Day by day, the sun will cause the infused dyestuff to change from bright yellows to pale beiges.
Aside from being a spice for cooking, turmeric is one of the earliest dye plants along with madder and indigo. Dyeing with turmeric has since become outmoded while indigo is still common today in the mass production of denim, at least in its synthetic form.
Schweiger has invited the fashion house 69 to collaborate for this iteration of MAK Center’s Garage Exchange, where they will extend their ongoing use of denim with a large-scale installation involving a plane of fabric and letter-shaped pillows forming a sentence. Further exploring this experiment in impermanence, 69 has created the entire alphabet in the same material for visitors to arrange as they wish.
In Gertrude Stein’s 1935 lecture Portraits and Repetition, she stated, “each time there was a difference just a difference enough so that it could go on and be a present something.” Stein was inspired by films where no two pictures repeat exactly the same, in turn combining in the memory to create one object persisting through time.
69 is a non-gender, non-demographic clothing line. All products and garments are manufactured in Los Angeles, California. 69 is timeless and classic, made in our present, and meant for the future.
Constanze Schweiger considers the ties between art and life by combining activities such as object-making, reading, writing, and publishing within her art practice. Her work migrates through production processes and reading materials, as well as the process of writing.