Olaf Holzapfel's textile works made from cactus fibre together with a family of traditional weavers from Argentina.
For more than a decade, works of art made from plant material have been at the center of Olaf Holzapfel's artistic practice. Since 2009, Holzapfel has been developing a group of works together with weavers from a Wichí family in Gran Chaco, Argentina. His works highlight the connection between humans as settlers and their surrounding landscape and emphasize the relationship between center and periphery, urban and rural. An example of this are the textile works and installations made from the cactus fibre Chaguar and presented in the publication Textile. These textile works were made in a collaborative process between the artist and the Wichí weavers Teresa, Mirta, Dionisia, Noelia, and Luisa Gutiérez. In their beauty, the works combine contemporary aesthetics with the weavers' knowledge of the colors and properties of the forest.
The publication contains documentational material of Holtzapfel's work, texts by Olaf Holzapfel, Andreas Elías, and Inka Gressel as well as an interview with the Wichí weavers.
Olaf Holzapfel's work (born 1969 in Görlitz, lives and works in Berlin) proves the indissoluble connection between human settlement, technique, and abstraction. Elementary space-generating methods like plaiting, weaving, and latticing—age-old settler techniques—stem from natural linear entities. These techniques are exceptional in that they don't differentiate between technique or machine, or whether a structure is purely functional, for living, or auxiliary. Holzapfel scrutinizes the perception and presence of material within space and whether an image discourse can exist without these physical modules. For him the landscape, and the material it contains, is more than a symbol that fixes identity; rather, it becomes a transmitter.