Materials & Applications (M&A) in partnership with Craft Contemporary presents Veil Craft, an outdoor architectural installation that responds to the materiality of construction in Los Angeles, drawing upon not just building practices but also craft techniques that speak to domesticity, fashion, and the body.
Veil Craft is on view in the Craft Contemporary Courtyard from July 17 through September 12th. Admission to the courtyard is free.
About Veil Craft
Even as the pandemic brought Los Angeles public life to a halt, construction continued, unabated and deemed an essential activity. Shimmering veils of green, white, orange, and black construction textiles are found across the city, their presence signaling many things: perhaps a future shelter for those without or, more often than not, a simple indication for the public to keep out. Referred to often as construction tarps or debris netting, these robust, porous, and colorful textiles have inadvertently become a near permanent facade aesthetic through the ubiquity of construction in the city of Los Angeles.
Veil Craft is an architectural installation made from these textiles, transforming the courtyard of Craft Contemporary into an unexpected pocket park. The street wall, faced in commonplace green debris netting, masquerades as another construction site on Wilshire Boulevard. Yet the base of this wall opens up into a deep awning, producing a generous, shaded porch that invites the public into the courtyard interior. Beyond this threshold is a courtyard within a courtyard, draped with long pleated panels of white debris netting hung thirty-feet up. In this shaded inner space, the pleated fabric creates varying effects of transparency and texture while playfully parting to make way for serendipitous intersections with existing courtyard elements. The various spaces perform a continuously shifting and unfolding act of veiling and revealing as one navigates through the courtyard, and the careful stitching and assembly of the textile panels juxtaposes references to domesticity, body and garment, and ornamentation alongside typical construction practices. Both playing into and upending these material associations, the installation brings forward the everyday, invisible materiality of Los Angeles’ changing landscape in order to interrogate it.
The M&A x Craft Contemporary partnership in the museum courtyard itself transforms into a public venue for a series of summer events that bring artists and storytellers together into dialogue, with renewed focus onto questions of urban change, labor practices, and community engagement. Ultimately, Veil Craft aims to activate an interest in the overlooked materiality of our built environment, bringing together expert and non-expert publics in conversation about Los Angeles’s material culture.
M&A and Craft Contemporary gratefully acknowledge the support of the Graham Foundation for Advanced Studies in the Fine Arts. Veil Craft is additionally supported by the Pasadena Art Alliance.