Continuous Composition

View of Continuous Composition from the bathroom of the Mackey Apartment where the textile was dyed with turmeric. Letter Pillows by 69. MAK Center for Art and Architecture, Los Angeles 2019

Once, before there was a gallery built on top of the garages at Schindler’s Mackey Apartments, there had been only a rooftop lined with gravel. Unofficially, someone had assembled a washing line on there which was temporarily used by the coming and going residents at the apartments. For some years, different people would repeatedly and interchangeably hang dry their sheets and clothing.
  Borrowing from Gertrude Stein’s 1926 lecture "Composition as Explanation," Constanze Schweiger remembers this every day act as making “a natural composition in the world as it has been.” For Continuous Composition Schweiger dyes a 39 x 9 feet (12 x 3 m) roll of cotton muslin with turmeric powder at the Mackey Apartments to hang for drying on a steel wire spanned across the length of the exhibition space. The dyed material will remain installed at the gallery for the duration of the exhibition, where it will be exposed to sunlight. Day by day, the sun will cause the infused dyestuff to change color color from bright yellows to pale beiges or colorless. We don't know yet.
  Aside from being a spice for cooking, turmeric is one of the early dye plants along with madder, or indigo. Dyeing with turmeric has since become outmoded while indigo is still common today in the mass production of denim, at least in its synthetic form.
  Schweiger has invited the Los Angeles fashion house 69 to extend their ongoing use of denim with a large-scale installation involving letter-shaped pillows forming the sentence "Everything is contemporary." Further exploring this experiment in impermanence, 69 has created the entire alphabet in the same material for visitors to arrange as they wish.
  In "Portraits and Repetition," another lecture from 1935, Gertrude Stein states, "each time there was a difference just a difference enough so that it could go on and be a present something." Stein was inspired by film where no two pictures repeat exactly the same, in turn they combine in our memories to create one object persisting through time.