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Hyphainein, the word for weaving or plying the loom, literally means “to bring to light”, “to make visible something that was not visible before”. And the word for the product of weaving, the “surface”, is epiphaneia, wich means “manifestation”. An “appearing”.

Also, the Latin word texere, “to weave”, and the word “text”, have the same root. Each text, then, could be seen as a result of woven net of letters, words, ideas, mental images.. And vice versa. Every woven surface, every textile, could be considered as “writing”, a substitude for not being able to speak.

Ann Bergen, in her book Language and the Female, shows that weaving was a form of cryptographic communication for  women in ancient Greece, who lacked a voice. The Greek culture as the writer explains, inherited from the Indo-European tradition a metaphor by which poets and prophets define themselves as “weaving” or “sewing” words.. And call the product of their work a “metaphorical web”. But which then is the literal, the original and which the metaphorical process? Is weaving a figurative speech or is poetry a figurative web?

Weaving as the sign-making activity of women is both literal and metaphorical.

For Ann Bergen, the myth of Tereus, Procne and Philomela provides a good example.

“It testifies to the regular limitation of women to tacit weaving, while exposing the magical power of a silent web to speak…When Tereus, the husband of Procne, rapes her sister Philomela, he cuts out the woman’s tongue to keep her silent, but Philomela, according to Apollodorus (3.14.8), hyphenasa en peploi grammata  “wove pictures/writing (grammata can mean either) in a robe” which she sent to her sister. “

Philomela’s trick underlines the “trickiness” of weaving, and its uncanny ability to make meaning out of inarticulate matter. In this way, women’s weaving and all feminine art that uses textiles, yarn and threads, is a kind of “writing” or graphic art. A communication tool. A material representation of audible immaterial words, ideas, symbols, which “appear”.

In this project, my threads represent Ariadne’s thread. And Philomela’s weaving. They become a cartographic device, estimating distance and proximity, rhythm and pace, movement and rest, bodily scapes. They tell stories which from darkness come to light.

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