Presented by Converge45
habitus is the landscape made from letting go and holding on, from reelings and turnings, unravelings and gatherings, spinning and scrolling, continuous and discontinuous threads, in circles and in lines. — Ann Hamilton
Converge 45 presents Ann Hamilton’s habitus, at Centennial Mills Pavilion on the waterfront of the Willamette river in Portland, Oregon. Inspired by one of the earliest human technologies, cloth making, the title, habitus refers to clothing, customs of dress, social patterns, and what Hamilton calls “the commonness of cloth.” A field of suspended curtains are turned by rope and pulley or animated by air’s movements. Wind might dwarf the mechanical action of a hand pulling and releasing the ropes at one moment. At another, human effort coaxes the static drag of cloth’s weight to circle and surround. Part cause and effect, part nature and culture, part individual and collective, this landscape invites social interactions and reciprocity.
As cloth swaddles us at birth and covers us in sleep; as a folded blanket can tell a story of trade; as a flag carries the symbol of a nation, Hamilton’s multi-venue exhibition invites us to touch and be touched by the fabric of human experience.
Originally commissioned by The Fabric Workshop and Museum in 2016 for the historic waterfront at Pier 9 in Philadelphia, Ann Hamilton re-sites elements of habitus in relation to Portland’s civic history and places a model of the city built in the 1970s at the center of the work. Created at a moment of urban renewal, this architectural representation is flanked by long shelves of literary excerpts related to dwelling, shelter and sanctuary. These commonplace pages were contributed by the public through an open call for submissions which continues throughout the run of the exhibition via habitus-a-commonplace.tumblr.com.
Installed in Portland by Converge 45 for US West Coast Premiere during TBA