Tuesday, 7 December 2010

BTWC at bStore


b Store
24A Savile Row

OPENING Wednesday December 1st, 7 - 9PM

Whittling -- to reduce or eliminate gradually. The word applies as much to an action performed on wood with a knife as it does to some mediation between physical being and an abstract notion such as TIME. For over a year now, Bleeding Thumb Whittling Club has provided tools and wood, pickles and coffee, to those who wish to explore the realm of whittling.

Whittling is an intrinsically modest occupation, yet precisely as such, BTWC views it as a kind of de-alienation process; an effective way to engage with robust experiences of temporality and materiality. Starting out, you can obtain an excellent knife for the price of a pizza; you don't need much wood, so even exotic varieties are cheap (or free, as off-cuts from someone's fancy work-top (or you can go to a forest and whittle what you find there in light filtered through birch leaves and reflected off its white bark)).

Our broader interest in the role of craft versus alienation in the advanced industrial age has led us to look at a score of previous responses to this question. Following Appalachian self-sufficiency culture in pre-war America and the post-hippy "Back to the Land" movement which descended from it, one member has created a rudimentary banjo which will be played on the opening night. Another part of our exhibition touches on the early years of the Bauhaus school of design, where focus was on workshop activity as a way of learning. We are also pleased to present our second publication, where among other things, a utopian marriage of these viewpoints is discussed.

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