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Project Premiere: Cat Mazza's "Knit for Defense" at Smithsonian's Renwick Gallery

July 16, 2012

Cat Mazza's Knit for Defense

Cat Mazza (2008 Film/Video) celebrates the premiere of her Creative Capital-supported project, Knit for Defense, in the exhibition 40 Under 40: Craft Futures at the Smithsonian American Art Museum’s Renwick Gallery in Washington, DC. The exhibition, which opens Friday, July 20, features forty artists born since 1972, the year the Renwick Gallery was established.

Knit for Defense is an animation at the intersection of craft, labor and combat, exploring the aesthetics of war in film through an experimental visualization of knit stitches. Knitting garments for combat troops was popularized during World War II as a domestic effort that activated knitting circles into a feminized labor force. Working with sound designer Jesse Stiles, Mazza drew on archival footage, historical artifacts, and sounds from knitting machines and textile processes to create Knit for Defense, threading together footage from World War II, Vietnam and the current wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, when wartime knitting was in practice. Knit motifs of tanks, planes, ships and drones animate a cinema of combat, reflecting on war from a pixelated distance.

Read an interview with Mazza about Knit for Defense on Creative Capital's blog, The Lab.

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