Radical Lace & Subversive Knitting

I hope I can make it to this exhibit at the Museum of Arts & Design in New York. It's on through 17 June, so I might just be able to get there. Regardless, I've enjoyed reading about it. The Yarn Market News blog linked to a NY Times review of the exhibit, and I disagree that the review is condescending. I didn't catch even a hint of irony in it. It's just not a glowing review, and the reasons for that are responsible and well presented. I suppose there are two different ways one could interpret “radical lace and subversive knitting.” One is the way the reviewer does, which is in the context of society and the circumvention of societal norms. In this sense, according to what I've read about the exhibit, perhaps it's not terribly radical nor subversive. Maybe the curator interpreted it another way, and circumvented lace and needlework norms specifically, by picking pieces that use unusual materials, tools, or modes of presentation. Unfortunately, the latter interpretation may be lost on a general public that's not as familiar with the norms of lace and needlework as are its practitioners. I'm interested by this concept, though I admit I find societal radicalism and subversion more compelling, overall, simply due to my love of greater contexts and the drama of it all. I'll just have to make sure I can get to the exhibit so I can really form an opinion about it.

If you've seen the exhibit, what do you think? Did you enjoy it? Did you learn something? Were you moved?

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