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"Trigger: Gender as a Tool and a Weapon": Josh...


Trigger: Josh Faught

Hello I’m Josh Faught, and I’m an Aries with Pisces moon and Pisces rising.

The two works in the show are called the mauve decade and the mauve decade two. So both of the works were created in response to the history of mauve and it’s history within the history of toxicity within the city center of London in a way that pollution spread to the suburbs of London during the turn of the 20th century. Mauve is kind of one of the most ambivalent and strange colors. It was invented by accident it was suppose to be a cure for malaria but it actually just turned into a synthetic dye. It was first discovered in 1856 and in 1890 it came into fashion. The history of mauve is a really interesting one aside from it being this accidental discovery or invention. It’s also a coal tar derivative so it was a way to turn pollution into an active dye stuff.

The other really amazing thing about mauve is that it is in and of itself a kind of transitional color. In this case mauve was an in between color in the mourning process. Women could transition to mauve from black crepe before they went to full spectrum color. It was an acceptable kind of an acceptable hue to wear if you were kind of moving out of mourning but still in the process of mourning. It also was one of the first colors that was specifically coded as queer. This was before lavender came into fashion and it’s also this transition between grey and lavender and purple and pink so it kind of exists in this constant state of flux or ambivalence. It’s also one of those colors that people just feel really strongly about in a sense that you know I think there are a lot of people that think mauve is worn in pretty bad taste, that it’s a garish color on some level. And others that champion it for its mercurial nature.

Kind of stepping back a bit, my work in general moves between social and political history, personal history and the history of textiles. So when I discovered this history of mauve it felt really natural to pair it with my own relationships to toxicity. Around the same time that I was making this work, I went to the allergist and I got one of those prick test, where they find out what you’re allergic to. And it turns out I was allergic to everything they pricked me for. So after I was diagnosed with all of these environmental allergies the doctor gave me this old Xeroxed or mimeographed handout with all of these ways that you can avoid your allergens. And really the whole thing read just like a document on how to be a complete shut-in from the rest of society. So you’re not suppose to leave the house, you’re not suppose to vacuum your rug by yourself, you should have someone else do it for you. So really if you were to take this advice it would turn you into an incredibly social awkward person. So I took this text, all of the ways to avoid your allergens and I started weaving them on my loom in my studio and I began to incorporate them within this larger tapestry or this larger floor piece, so that my own personal history and the history of mauve started to become confused, collaged or conflated with each other.

"Trigger: Gender as a Tool and a Weapon": Josh Faught
"Trigger: Gender as a Tool and a Weapon": Josh Faught