The International Tapestry Triennial, the oldest and the most important presentation of phenomena connected with the medium of textiles, in 2019 will take place for the 16th time. It’s a good moment to refresh the format and to give the forthcoming Triennial an open character. It will allow us to get a closer look at textiles in a broader context. The previous system, proven and fully functional in a period of lesser freedom of information flow, was fully justified. The principle assuming work of commissioners from different countries, who recommended artists fit to participate in the event, was dictated by the specifics of that time and significantly facilitated the accomplishment of subsequent editions of the Triennial. However, in the era of full freedom and ease of information circulation we want to get in touch directly with artists expressing the desire to take part in the feast of textiles, which will take part next year in Łódź. We will enrich the formula, creating a possibility of imparting a well-thought-out and consistent character to the whole presentation. For the first time in the history of the meetings in Łódź, the Triennial will be provided with curatorial care. Marta Kowalewska, who undertook this task, has prepared a number of important displays centered around the art of textiles, and has been researching the history and context of artistic textiles as well as analyzing an popularizing the accomplishments of Polish authors on that front.
The introduction of the key role of curator to the formula of the Triennial resulted in yet another change. For the first time, we want to focus the whole presentation around a key theme. For the upcoming Triennial, this theme is “Breaching Borders.” This topic includes many problems of the modern world, which redefine the meaning of the identity of our civilization, ethnic groups, social groups or each of us individually. In the era of accumulation of ever-changing variables, almost all the time we are forced to move the borders of our understanding of reality or to delineate them, say, in the matter of dignity or the sense of personal security. Do we, as a civilization, aim at a world without borders? It seems that borders have a pejorative meaning and their crossing is an expression of freedom. They repeatedly proved to be the source of conflict between those who delineated and maintained them on the one hand, and those who wanted to cross them on the other. Therefore, maintaining the integrity of borders or bringing them down shows itself as an enormous civilizational problem, which is mirrored in political, social, cultural, scientific and religious matters, in problems that afflict each of us personally. Which finally finds its expression in art. Artistic textiles have experienced it in a notable way. Over half a century ago, authors had to break the rules that the centuries imposed on textiles in order to admit it as one of the liberated arts. Out of this conflict, outstanding works of art were born, works that shifted the borders of how we perceive art. Today, after many years of a peculiar crisis of textiles, it is being reborn, integrating itself even more closely with other fields, and thereby blurring the borders that divide them. We believe that the next International Tapestry Triennial will bring an interesting and important commentary to these phenomena, of which we are both witnesses and participants.
In relation to that, we invite all the authors that every day express themselves by means of textiles or that would like to square off against this matter that is demanding, yet offers an incredibly broad alphabet of means of expression. Until now, the condition for the work to be allowed in the competition was to use the basic element of the structure of textiles, i.e. interlacing. We want to broaden that definition. We will also present works that allude to this medium in their layer of significance. In the broad formal spectrum, there will be place for photographs, videos and other forms of expression. All the terms and conditions of participation are included in the Regulations.
It is a tradition of the Triennial that beside the main presentation there is Polish National Exhibition of Unique Textile and National Exhibition of the Polish Miniature Textiles, which will also change their form and will be organised under curatorial care. Those three events will create a wide and holistic panorama of the phenomenon of contemporary artistic textiles.