Marie Hazard: Writing Without Words
On her old wooden loom, Marie Hazard weaves stories with miles of thread. Through a long and complex process, she brings together traditional hand weaving techniques and digital printing technology to explore contemporary social and cultural conditions.
Marie Hazard has exhibited in galleries across Europe and her work is collected internationally, yet the 25-year-old says that she “never chose to be an artist” but that her career began when a Parisian gallerist said to her: “I want to exhibit your work”. With centuries of history behind her, Hazard has found a unique place for herself in the weaving tradition.
TLmag: There is a post on your Instagram feed that says: “In Latin, to weave is to write”. Could you expand on what this poetic approach to weaving means to you?
Marie Hazard (MH): This idea became very important to me when I was studying at Central St Martins, in London, and I discovered that I was dyslexic. I find writing very difficult but when I weave, I don’t have to write. It is a different kind of writing – without words.
TLmag: What kind of stories do you write?
MH: I weave my own canvases and then print textiles on top of them so they are a sort of a mise en abyme – that is to say, I print fabric on fabric. I want to show that we are not aware of where the fabrics that we use every day come from. I explore the contrasts between the speed of industrial consumption and the long process that I undertake as a weaver.
TLmag: The juxtaposition in your work between an age-old technique and technological production is fascinating. Does the clash of the physical and digital come into your practice in other ways?
MH: I think there is an opposition between me as an artist, using a very ancient technique, and the art market, which is hyper-connected with curators or collectors who I speak with via the internet. In general, I don’t like being behind a screen, but social media has played an important role in starting my practice. Recently I was contacted by a curator in New York who wants to exhibit my work, and they found me on Instagram.
TLmag: Where do you position yourself in the creative industry?
MH: I took a design course but I knew I was not a designer. I struggled a lot with the limited notion of “design” based on “usefulness” when I wanted to work on social or cultural ideas. I think I am an artist because I work with the art world but I could also be a craftsperson. My technique is craft-based and my work is very personal and intuitive. There are lots of things that happen randomly; I cannot weave perfectly; There are mistakes everywhere. I think making mistakes is important because you really learn about weaving this way. Sometimes people say, ‘this thread is not straight’, for me, it’s not about that.
This article was originally published in TLmag 32: Contemporary Applied, and is now being reposted to bring attention to Marie’s exhibition, ‘Color Field’ at Domaine du Muy, and her upcoming exhibition “JUMP, RUN, BREATHE” at Sunday-S Gallery (DK), opening in October later this year.
Cover Photo: Marie Hazard in her Studio.