Anja Schwörer disrupts the fabric of her canvases dyeing, cutting, folding, immersing and teasing out abstract imagery. She is interested in the dichotomies of cause and effect, order and disorder, systemic control and chance and her research delves into the different identities and characteristics of fabrics from cotton, to velvet and denim, more specifically their textures, haptic qualities, permeability and capacity to absorb water, color and bleach.
A primary tool in this process is bleach. Which she uses as an image-generating device, penetrating the cloth, influencing the chemical reactions into absorption or rejection, creating, revealing or deleting colors and forms.
The construction of the image is done in an indirect fashion, her techniques borrowing logical steps from printmaking and experimental photography, where the working steps are planned in advance in anticipation of the desired result.
Schwörer sets herself rules before the deleting process begins. The fabric gets folded, clamped or tied up. Each preparation stage follows geometrical orders, structures, rhythms and sequences. The formal grids and symmetries she employs are elemental modes of structuring and organizing the surface of the image.
However the image making process can`t be totally controlled and chance comes into it as the result of pushing her process through experimentation. At some points the bleach hijacks part of the creative element as the chemicals make their mark, the creative power diverging briefly from the artist`s subjectivity. The works question the circumstances of an image and its material manifestation as the subject.
Text: Vigo Gallery