Embroidery and Etiquette Club at UMOCA

Contact: Sarina Ehrgott | Sarina.ehrgott@utahmoca.org | 801.328.4201
www.utahmoca.org | 20 S West Temple, Salt Lake City, UT 84101
Tuesday – Thursday and Saturday 11 AM – 6 PM | Friday 11 AM – 9 PM

April 4, 2013


“Sewing” the Seeds of Good Manners
Embroidery and Etiquette Club at UMOCA

Salt Lake City Currently on exhibition at the Utah Museum of Contemporary Art (UMOCA) is Neutralize Negative Feelings, an installation by the Serbian-born, Los Angeles-based artist Ana Prvacki (pronounced Pri-vatch-key). Her work engages primarily with the rituals of social etiquette and hospitality as raw material. Having substantiated her somewhat pigeon-holed interests over a decade ago by launching the mail-order company Ananatural Productions, Prvacki’s aim was to produce items and services ranging from the practical to the absurd that offer unconventional solutions to the often unspoken social anxieties in daily life. This focus has now settled into the Embroidery and Etiquette Club where members are invited free of charge to wax lyrical about their favorite circumstantial stumbles while creating embroideries in the style of Prvacki’s exhibition.

The Embroidery and Etiquette Club merges together the language of Martha Stewart with that of Marina Abromovic enabling Prvacki to instruct on empathy and advocate for a more transparent commonplace. Transforming the stress and awkwardness of societal life, Prvacki empowers club members with the tools necessary to recover from embarrassing situations with grace. The club is hosted by UMOCA every Friday night from 6-8 PM until the close of her exhibition show on April 27, 2013.

Prvacki’s own personal life has been an integral part of her work and this project. Since moving from Serbia to Singapore at the age of 13 then traveling back and forth to and from Los Angeles, she describes learning how to behave in a way that does not alienate oneself and others as a lifelong practice.

Prvacki’s own diverse experience and expertise on the subject of social interaction along with her work’s utilitarian approach encourages participants to neutralize their own negative feelings about perceived notions of tradition in needlework, femininity, and etiquette. The club helps participants explore varying social codes and cultural structures using a light-hearted and humorous tone, balancing-out contrived expectations or antagonistic sentiments with acts of congeniality and restraint.

The Embroidery and Etiquette Club provides a subversive platform for negotiating relationships and assigned meaning that typically are avoided, such as navigating personal space, and what to do about spinach stuck in your teeth. The tote bags themselves are embroidered with relaxed yet politically loaded phrases and often depict bees, which work to embody the practice of etiquette and the equanimity it requires.

The public is invited to join in the gossip while embroidering Utah icons on totes that will become a traveling aspect of Prvacki’s future exhibitions.
April 5 – Table Manners
April 12 – Travelling at Home and Abroad
April 19 – American Neighborhood Customs and Growth of Good Taste in America

Unaltered totes are also available for purchase for $30.

The Embroidery and Etiquette Club is a combined effort between the artist, UMOCA and LAXART, the Los Angeles-based curatorial initiative.

The award-winning Utah Museum of Contemporary Art exhibits groundbreaking artwork by local, national, and international artists. Four gallery spaces provide an opportunity for the community to explore the contemporary cultural landscape through UMOCA’s exhibitions, films, events, classes, and presentations.

Founded in 1931, the Utah Museum of Contemporary Art has been recognized as Best Museum in the State of Utah for 2011 and 2012 and is a four-time recipient of funding from the Andy Warhol Foundation.

Located at 20 S. West Temple; open Tuesday-Thursday: 11 a.m. – 6 p.m.; Friday: 11 a.m. – 9 p.m.; Saturday: 11 a.m. – 6 p.m.; closed Sunday and Monday. Admission is free. For more information call (801) 328-4201 or visit www.utahmoca.org.