Alex Younger

Parasomnia, 2016
cotton and wool
42 x 80 in.

For the past few years, I have used jacquard weaving and hand-embellishment to examine the silences in our discussion of rape by displaying the personal repercussions and legal barriers that go unseen in our focus on the assault itself. “Parasomnia” presents a short letter of expert witness testimony rebutting my rapist’s claim that a sleep disorder made him rape me. Woven as a blanket to the proportions on a Twin XL dorm bed, the text stands with minimal redaction. Instead, annotations were hand embroidered off the loom, including underlined sections, highlighted words, and a secondary narrative placed inside the bounds of the letter. “Woody and Dylan” is a woven version of a photograph that accompanied a puff piece on Mia and Woody in Life Magazine in 1988, installed in front of a wallpaper of the judge’s ruling from a custody hearing Woody began a week after finding out that his seven year old daughter Dylan Farrow had accused him of sexual molestation. The weaving is hung from two metal clothespins nailed into the legal text, the public performance of domesticity buckling as it drapes like laundry, failing to hide the text beneath. Using a brocade process I reversed and modified, “Triggered” is a series exploring the physical manifestation of Post-Traumatic flashback triggers by manipulating the weave structure to selectively break down, distorting the canvas of the skin. Woven with sewing thread the same shade as the yarn used to weave the body, the handprint registers as a slight disruption of the surface, representing the disturbance of the tactile memory of hands that are no longer there.

© Alex Younger