#SAMDisguise: Jakob Dwight on Woman’s hat

#SAMDisguise: Jakob Dwight on Woman’s hat

Woman's Hat

Artist Jakob Dwight speaks on Woman's Hat.

Woman's Hat

Woman's Hat

LOW/NO VISION

LOW/NO VISION

Transcript

Hi, my name is Jakob Dwight, I'm a painter, media, and light artist based in New York City.

I chose this object because it has a personal history with me, it's one of the first objects that I learned about African tribes when I was maybe eight or nine I was addicted to encyclopedias and found out about this object, and I like circles also, and I like red, the color red, so it really kind of sticks out to me.

This object connects to my artistic practice in a couple of different ways but mostly it relates to a project that I'm doing called N'Chi: Visions of a New World, which is a sort of art strategy, or world strategy, world-building platform where we look at cultural forms and cultural capital, whether they be funerary rites or marriage rituals, which this is an item worn by, only by, exclusively by married women, so the project that I'm doing is looking at all of these anthropological cultural forms and how we can create new ones and how those can relate to life, or not, just be something nonsensical or surreal. So when I learned about this object as a child, it was kind of the beginning of that, so the whole project of N'Chi comes from the inspiration that is coming from that time in my life.

It has a definite communicative function and so you know looking at how different cultures choose to communicate certain positions in society so this is one exclusively by married women whereas here, in the western world it would maybe be an engagement ring, or something else. So I think it's something that's good to have in the collection to remind viewers of the myriad of ways the different ways that human beings can nonverbally and communicate their state and conditions in society and different positions.

They are seemingly arbitrary, as far as just a, someone decided this was beautiful and this is, this should mean, there's nothing about it that says necessarily marriage, you know, it's just a culture decided to get together and decided and say this is going to mean marriage from now on.

Why do you think cultural forms develop? And why do you think they persist? Why was this the chosen sign or symbol of a married woman? Why is an engagement ring a sign or symbol of marriage in the west? Why do brides wear white or black or lace? So how do these cultural forms come about and how do they persist throughout history?

LOW/NO VISION Transcript

You are listening to a visual description of the artwork intended for someone with low to no vision. An interpretive analysis will immediately follow. For interpretive analysis of the object, enter the three-digit number on the label followed by the pound key.

Woman's Hat (Isicholo), by an unknown Zulu (South African) artist. Created in the mid-20th century. Bast fiber, human hair, and ochre. About one foot 5 inches tall and wide by 1 foot deep.

This is a circular red woven hat. The top of the hat is a flat circle, with red fiber woven in concentric circles and accented with about an inch-thick red braid that extends from the center of the circle to its outer edge. From the top flat circle, red fibers are woven into gradually smaller circles, which together form the cone shape of the hat, and end at a circle opening for the head lined with a strip of orange fabric with hanging ends that are tied in a loose knot. Metal studs spaced less than an inch apart decorate along the circumference edge of the flat circle. The same metal studs but spaced about two-inches apart also form a band along the cone of the hat.

Now, an interpretive analysis of the artwork.

Hi, my name is Jakob Dwight, I'm a painter, media, and light artist based in New York City.

I chose this object because it has a personal history with me, it's one of the first objects that I learned about African tribes when I was maybe eight or nine I was addicted to encyclopedias and found out about this object, and I like circles also, and I like red, the color red, so it really kind of sticks out to me.

This object connects to my artistic practice in a couple of different ways but mostly it relates to a project that I'm doing called N'Chi: Visions of a New World, which is a sort of art strategy, or world strategy, world-building platform where we look at cultural forms and cultural capital, whether they be funerary rites or marriage rituals, which this is an item worn by, only by, exclusively by married women, so the project that I'm doing is looking at all of these anthropological cultural forms and how we can create new ones and how those can relate to life, or not, just be something nonsensical or surreal. So when I learned about this object as a child, it was kind of the beginning of that, so the whole project of N'Chi comes from the inspiration that is coming from that time in my life.

It has a definite communicative function and so you know looking at how different cultures choose to communicate certain positions in society so this is one exclusively by married women whereas here, in the western world it would maybe be an engagement ring, or something else. So I think it's something that's good to have in the collection to remind viewers of the myriad of ways the different ways that human beings can nonverbally and communicate their state and conditions in society and different positions.

They are seemingly arbitrary, as far as just a, someone decided this was beautiful and this is, this should mean, there's nothing about it that says necessarily marriage, you know, it's just a culture decided to get together and decided and say this is going to mean marriage from now on.

Why do you think cultural forms develop? And why do you think they persist? Why was this the chosen sign or symbol of a married woman? Why is an engagement ring a sign or symbol of marriage in the west? Why do brides wear white or black or lace? So how do these cultural forms come about and how do they persist throughout history?