Akeroyd Collection


Kawita Vatanajyankur, Shuttle, 2018

As is a common characteristic of Vatanajyankur’s works, in Shuttle, she has constructed a human-size structure associated with a particular form of manufacturing. In this performance for camera, in which a precisely rehearsed choreography of movements tests the limits of endurance, she becomes the shuttle that darts through an oversized loom. In the video, we see an aqua-coloured metal structure that supports a purple gathering of fibres across its arms. Vatanajyankur launches herself through the narrow gap between the threads and slips through to the other side. She wears a skin-coloured body suit but also visible are bright red strands of wool encircling her lower torso. As she lunges across and through the fabrics, just as her smaller, wooden counterpart would in an ordinary construction process, the fabric unwinds behind her and then crosses the purple fibres, building the fabric up. As the title suggests, Vatanajyankur is herself the shuttle and the device that produces, with each dive through the warp and weft, another line of a woven textile. The body becomes the tool, the productive force, sublimated into the mechanical labour of industrial capitalism. This suggests not everyone is an emotional labourer in the 21st Century, and by extension, infers that much of these manufacturing processes that survive the 20th Century fall to feminine bodies.

MediumHD Video, single-channel
Duration3 minutes 30 seconds
Editionof 4 + 3 APs