Wednesday, 21 February 2024

Textile Details

'¿Caín, dónde esta tu hermano? / Cain, where is your brother?', Anonymous. (Photo: Martin Melaugh)
'¿Caín, dónde esta tu hermano? / Cain, where is your brother?', Anonymous. (Photo: Martin Melaugh)


Title of Textile:Caín, ¿dónde está tu hermano? / Cain, where is your brother?
Maker: Anonymous
Country of Origin: Chile
Year Produced: 1983c
Size (cm): 49cm x 37cm
Materials: Scraps of materials hand sewn onto burlap
Type of Textile: Arpillera

This unique arpillera brings us indoors. The setting allows us to come close to the way the church groups in Chile worked around issues of human rights violations, such as killings, disappearances, torture, exile or others.

In this vivid scene, we are almost invited to join the group around the table where we can see the candles, burning brightly next to the Bible. A woman is reading aloud: it could well be information relating to the detained disappeared people they are searching for and of whom they have photos on one of the walls. A second woman has lifted her hand to signal that she wants to speak. Other men and women are actively listening.

The meeting has challenged the participants to respond to a well-known quote from the Bible: "Cain, where is your brother?" The scene evokes a deep sense of solidarity and community. In the catalogue to the Weavings of War exhibition (2005), James Young, curator of The art of Memory: Holocaust Memorials in History, says: “This needlework expresses such memories outwardly and it gives the storyteller an inward time and space to work through such memory” (Cooke, Zeitlin A., & MacDowell M., eds. 2005, Weavings of War: Fabrics of Memory, Michigan State University, p21).

Owner: Colección del Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía
Location: Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía de Madrid
Original / Replica: Original
Photographer: Martin Melaugh
Provenance: Depósito indefinido de la Fundación Museo Reina Sofía, 2023. Adquirido de Conflict Textiles collection (2023) Long term loan Fundación Museo Reina Sofía, 2023. Acquired from Conflict Textiles collection (2023). Provenance Kinderhilfe arpillera collection, Chile/Bonn

Textile exhibited at: Cultural Stories in Textiles, 25/02/2010 - 27/02/2010
Stitching Resistance, 12/10/2010 - 16/01/2011
Arpilleras e resistência política no Chile , 30/07/2011 - 30/10/2011
Arpilleras of Chilean political resistance , 22/03/2012 - 5/06/2012
Stitching and Unstitching The Troubles-phase 1, 5/09/2012 - 29/09/2012
RETAZOS TESTIMONIALES: arpilleras de Chile y otras latitudes, 28/09/2013 - 10/11/2013
Stitching and Unstitching The Troubles II, 6/12/2013 - 22/02/2014
Arpilleras: Verhalen over leven / Arpilleras: stories of life and survival, 23/09/2015 - 20/11/2015
ARPILLERAS: verhalen over leven ARPILLERAS: stories of life and survival, 16/01/2016 - 24/02/2016
Enduring Life: Arpillera Voices, 11/05/2016 - 15/07/2016
Arpillera Voices and Echoes , 6/10/2016 - 14/11/2016
Arpilleras viajeras: Chilenas y de otras latitudes, 16/11/2016 - 12/12/2016
Textile Language of Conflicts, 6/11/2017 - 10/11/2017
Huellas: puntadas y caminares de la memoria / Footprints: memory stitches and steps , 29/09/2018 - 4/11/2018

Textile Detail Image(s)