Cynthia Hopkins, in collaboration with The Fabric Workshop and Museum, Philadelphia, Must Don’t Whip ‘Um Memorial Quilt (detail, one side), 2015. 7 x 5 feet. Photo: Carlos Avendaño.

Cynthia Hopkins

September 12, 2015–January 3, 2016

Public reception: October 2, 5:30–8pm, featuring Requiem for Five Deceased Musical Performance Works, a performance of a musical composition by Hopkins

The Fabric Workshop and Museum
1214 Arch Street
Philadelphia, PA 19107
Hours: Monday–Friday 10am–6pm,
Saturday–Sunday 12–5pm

T +1 215 561 8888
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The Fabric Workshop and Museum (FWM) presents Memorabilia, an exhibition of new work by multi-instrumentalist, composer, and theater artist Cynthia Hopkins (Brooklyn, NY) that memorializes several of the artist’s large-scale, music theater performances.

In Memorabilia, the materials collected from the detritus of Hopkins’ performance pieces—such as hundreds of pages of hand-written notes the artist scribbled during the process of devising songs, stories, characters, and costumes, as well as fragments of her costumes and props—are “woven” into five double-sided large-scale “quilts” made in collaboration with The Fabric Workshop and Museum. Each piece allows Hopkins to communicate a story about a specific performance piece in fragmented, folkloric form through arranged materials, embroidered lyrics, and hand-drawn diagrams. Hopkins’ new sound piece will permeate the installation to create a cohesive narrative for the new works on display.

“This exhibit, Memorabilia, will serve the purpose memorials are intended to serve: to celebrate, and put to rest, what is no longer living (so that those mourning the loss of the person or thing can move on with their lives) while simultaneously enriching the present with a remembrance of things past (so that those who may not be familiar with the thing memorialized may potentially learn from it, or be curious about it, or shed a tear for its loss).”
—Cynthia Hopkins

Cynthia Hopkins: Memorabilia is part of FWM’s ongoing series, Convergence: Declarations of Independence, which presents to the Philadelphia community the energy and creativity of artists working outside traditional centers of the art world. Funding for this exhibition is provided by The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, The Arcadia Foundation, The National Endowment for the Arts, and the Board of Directors and Members of The Fabric Workshop and Museum (FWM).

Image materials: Wood, metal grating, hand written notes, miniature rugs, hospital bracelet, bloody cloths, found pictures, ribbons, vinyl records, bottlecaps, bottles, lantern, pocket watch, box, sculpture made of canvas, thread, wire, paint, stick pins, feathers, and a postage stamp, created by Susan Oetgen, sandalwood fans and the boxes they came in, paper cocktail umbrellas, ceramic dish purchased from the Museum of Jurassic Technology gift shop, embroidery floss, brass lamp chain, grass, black magic candle promising protection from evil and harm, piano parts, and 2-way plexiglass mirrors.

Also on view
Nate Young: The Unseen Evidence of Things Substantiated

About the artist
Cynthia Hopkins (Brooklyn, NY) is an internationally acclaimed musical performance artist. Her multimedia performance works incorporate music, text, video, and theatrical design to create imaginative stories interweaving truth with outlandish fiction. She is best known for “The Accidental Trilogy,” a series of full-length pieces consisting of Accidental Nostalgia, which premiered in 2004 (2005 Bessie Award for Creation); Must Don’t Whip ‘Um in 2007 (2007 Bessie Award for Design); and The Success of Failure (or, The Failure of Success), which premiered in 2009 at the Walker Art Center, Minneapolis, and St. Ann’s Warehouse in Brooklyn. In addition to her theater work, Hopkins was a founding member of the band Gloria Deluxe, which recorded eight full-length albums while active from 1999 to 2009. The band developed an enthusiastic following for its blend of folk, rock, blues and country music, opening for legendary musicians David Byrne and Patti Smith. In addition to the many Bessie Awards won for “The Accidental Trilogy,” she is the recipient of a 2001 Obie Award, the 2007 Alpert Award in Theater, a 2010 Guggenheim Fellowship, and the 2015 Doris Duke Artist Award. Hopkins’ work has been presented at venues across the world, including MASS MoCA; On the Boards, Seattle; the Walker Art Center, Minneapolis; Philadelphia Performing Arts Festival; the Andy Warhol Museum, Pittsburgh; St. Ann’s Warehouse, Brooklyn; and Les Subsistances, Lyon, France.

About The Fabric Workshop and Museum
Founded in 1977, The Fabric Workshop and Museum (FWM) encourages international artists at all stages of their careers to experiment with new materials and new media in a veritable living laboratory, working with studio staff, educators, and apprentices. Through its renowned Artist-in-Residence Program, FWM’s collaborative process continues to build a permanent collection of some 6,000 works of art and an archive of diverse materials that preserve and document the course of artistic production from inspiration to realization. An ambitious program of exhibitions and publications, a dynamic website, and wide-ranging educational programming enhance FWM’s commitment to conveying a story of contemporary art that unites process with finished works of art of interest to a broad national and international audience.

For more information, or to request images, please contact Michele Bregande, Assistant to the Directors – Public Relations, at michele@fabricworkshopandmuseum.org.

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