Constanza Carvajal

Mixed media installation, performance, 2019

BLAU MACHEN is an embroidered piece that explores the social and political meanings of the color blue through history from metaphorical, political and embodied perspectives. The object is connected to the idioms “Blau machen”(to take time off, literally: to make blue) and “Blau sein”(to be drunk, literally: to be blue) relating to notions of leisure time and its privileges. Through the repetitive action of embroidering a tapestry, the artist intends to translate time into color and color into language. The object is made for the sake of being made, using the time needed to fill the large surface.

Throughout history the color blue served to define power structures, wealth and class. Difficult to produce, it was at the center of conflicts and shaped entire economies. Previously representing democracy, union and pact, it has more recently become associated with right wing parties. The notion of trade is also present in the production process: the pigments to dye the wool have been bought from India, Chile, Korea and Germany. By mixing and blending them into one single blue stain the artist addresses the migration of color and its symbolic appropriation.