Rossella Biscotti


Rossella Biscotti: 10 x 10

With 10 x 10 Biscotti shows us large monumental woolen textiles of a high quality and tactility, designed with unique abstract patterns. The textiles – up till 9 meters long – hang partially downwards through special hanging devices, and structuring, as architectural elements, the gallery space in a new order.

Rossella Biscotti’s 10 x 10 project, which she developed originally for Haus Esters in Krefeld (DE), interrelates three histories – the legacy of Haus Esters itself (a single family villa built by Mies van der Rohe for a textile baron), the use of punch cards to program both early data processing machines and automated looms (Jacquard), and how demographic records have been modeled through census taking.

In the nineteenth century, there was a big boom in the textile industry which came with the introduction of the Jacquard loom. With this invention, punch cards were used for the first time, which allowed very complex patterns to be woven. The binary system based on 0 and 1 was introduced, and with this the punch code presented an early mechanical storage system that formed the underlying architecture for all data processing to come, a precursor for the modern computer.

For 10 x 10 Biscotti has specially designed fabrics woven with patterns derived from the use and transformation of statistical data: statistics that document in an exemplary manner the demographic changes in family structures in Brussels, which were converted by means of an algorithmic procedure into an abstract sign system that served to control the looms. Although it has a tactile dimension, the work’s emphasis lies in the conceptual aspect of the fabric. The spatial installation is inspired by solutions developed by Mies van der Rohe together with Lilly Reich for trade fair stands in Berlin and Barcelona in the 1920’s. The opening will coincide with the launch of a new publication on this work.

Recent solo exhibitions are: Museion Bolzano (opening January 30, 2015), WIELS Brussels (2014), Haus Esters Krefeld (2014), Secession Vienna (2013), De Vleeshal Middelburg (2012) and CAC, Vilnius (2012). She also participated in the Venice Biennal (2013), Istanbul Biennial (2013), Manifesta 9 Genk (2012), dOCUMENTA 13, Kassel (2012). She won a wide range of prizes and stipends, among in 2014 the Mies van der Rohe Stipend, in 2010 the Premio Italia Arte Contemporanea.

Rossella Biscotti, 10 x 10, 2014
Rossella Biscotti, 10 x 10, 2014
Installation view Wilfried Lentz Rotterdam 2015
Photo: Sander van Wettum

Rossella Biscotti, 10 x 10, 2014
Rossella Biscotti, Acquired Nationality, 2014
Jacquard-woven textiles (wool) 820 x 172 cm,
metal structure (steel) 26 x 187 cm
edition of 3 + 1 A/P
installation view: Wilfried Lentz Gallery, Rotterdam (NL), 2015
photo: Sander van Wettum