Chronolace Studies: The Standstill Crochet

An ongoing project by Ebru Kurbak
Curated by Basak Senova

FABRIKRAUM is pleased to present Chronolace Studies: The Standstill Crochet, an ongoing project by Ebru Kurbak. Chronolace Studies explores the potentials of handmade lace as a medium for the early mechanical precinema devices. The research unfolds a parallel methodology between engineering and lace making that opens up a new critical discourse based on observing and practicing feminised skills in light of the technological advancements in history. Kurbak investigates political dimensions of seemingly mundane things by highlighting research, invention, and display of information as political processes. She sees Chronolace Studies as a continuous open-ended material research process that reinterprets an existing spatial structure in gender politics, which suggests a potential to challenge the accredited aesthetics at large.

Kurbak started to work on Chronolace Studies and her collaboration with the curator Basak Senova in the course of the CrossSections project (2017-2019). From this overarching research, she extracts a fragment, The Standstill Crochet (2021), composed of found and crafted crochet doilies and mechanical instruments. In this respect, the exhibition contains four experimental hybrid objects, connecting two distinct 19th Century techniques: domestic crochet lace making and mechanical motion picture technology. While the objective in precinema devices was to create the illusion of motion, hand crocheted doilies were intended for precise and uniform repetitive patterns. Kurbak creates a tension between these two techniques by producing a standstill effect, which furthermore reveals the qualities and nuances of handcraft.
Ebru Kurbak is an artist based in Vienna. She currently is Senior Research Fellow and Visiting Professor at the University of Applied Arts Vienna. In her work, Kurbak is driven by her interest in the hidden political nature of everyday spaces, technologies and routines, and how the design of the ordinary is involved in shaping individual and societal values, practices, and ideologies. Kurbak’s artworks have been exhibited at international platforms including the MAK - Museum of Applied Arts Vienna (Vienna, AT), Ars Electronica Festival (Linz, AT), ZKM (Karlsruhe, DE), Siggraph (US), Microwave (Hong Kong), Istanbul Design Biennial (Istanbul, TR), and Piksel Festival (Bergen, NO), among others. She was artist in residence at La Gaité Lyrique (Paris, FR), LABoral (Gijon, ES), V2_ (Rotterdam, NL), and EYEBEAM (New York, US). Her most recent two arts-based research projects are “Stitching Worlds” (2014 – 2018, FWF-PEEK) and “The Museum of Lost Technology” (2020 – 2024, FWF-Elise-Richter-PEEK). Kurbak received the Erste Bank MoreValue Design Prize in 2015 and was awarded the Art + Technology Grant by the Los Angeles County Museum of Arts in 2019. 

Basak Senova is a curator and designer. She is a Visiting Professor at the University of Applied Arts Vienna, running the “Octopus Programme”.
Spatial Design: Ebru Kurbak and Başak Şenova
Production Assistant: Mathias Janko
Ebru Kurbak
Ebru Kurbak


11. Juni 2021 - 02. Juli 2021
FABRIKRAUM, Johnstraße 25-27, 1150 Wien