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Shannon Ludington recreates a remarkable embroidery sampler by a young 19th-century woman named Elizabeth Parker who used this traditionally passive and feminine craft to tell the story of her rape. Ludington’s interactive performance, "As I Cannot Write" questions perceptions and valuing of women's work and experiences and the history of violence against women.
Ludington is a Master's in Fine Arts student in the ASU School of Art who uses carefully crafted textile objects to explore our relationships to our personal and cultural identities and their public expression. She believes that the intimate nature of textiles in our lives gives them a uniquely powerful expression when placed in public space. The durational aspect of this performance highlights the labor intensive and meditative qualities of the action as well as providing opportunities for engaging viewers.
This piece is presented in conjunction with "Energy Charge: Connecting to Ana Mendieta," an exhibition on view at the ASU Art Museum from Sept. 24–Dec. 31.
Image credit: Shannon Ludington, "As I Cannot Write," 2016. Performance documentation. Courtesy of the artist.