indigo

The process of coloring shows the relation of one to another. The solved pigment infuses the textile body, whose fabric again absorbs and holds the pigment. The textile takes the color (indigo blue) entirely, but still does not abandon its proper materiality. Blue bodies are models to render visible the qualities of textile and color. Dyeing blue with reserves (bleu à la résèrve) allows for placing a drawing in the cloth, which then in the process of coloring re-appears as a „reserve“, a cavity. Something white is left and embraced by blue. The indigo blue cloth has become its surrounding. The color itself (indigo blue) is a border-phenomenon between promise, loss and yearning. It moves into sight and consciousness. Blueprint’s history is situated in the territoriality of borders. Variations in tone are tales of economic and colonial struggle. A broken blue with a touch of grey is the dye of woad. Since the Middle Ages this plant was used in Europe for dyeing blue. Via colonizing India a rich, even deeper blue pigment, with a slight, purple shine – indigo ferra – became popular. The appropriation of this dye demonstrates exemplarily the tesselation of global trade and exploitation. In Europe woad was replaced by indigo ferra. The planting, processing and selling of woad – until then a strictly regulated economic microcosmos, which nourished entire cities – became superfluous.
Those who wave mark a borderspace increasing in diffusion. The raised and moving arm is readable as a sign, a symbolically infused physicality. Waving is a gesture and therefore “a movement of the body (…) for which there exists no satisfying, causal explanation” (Vilém Flusser, 1994 Gesten. Versuch einer Phänomenologie: 8). Identifiable only as a sign, it’s meaning ever depends on the context and remains ambiguous for itself.