Textiles are a notorious medium for evoking the past. The inherent domesticity of the material offers a history of personal use, with associations of home and family. Found fabric carries with it the aesthetic of time, and possibly place. In RoCoCo’s recent series, Grafting Nostalgic, the collaborative duo uses these connotations to complicate the narrative of place, and more specifically the place they are from, the Bay Area. The project relays the personal histories from a cultural perspective of two people who grew up in the Bay Area during the sixties, seventies, and eighties, and the rapid changes that have come since.
The Grafting Nostalgic series, started while artists-in-residence at the San Jose Museum of Quilts & Textiles in the fall of 2017, offered RoCoCo an opportunity for a new structure in making, a fused collaboration. For the last five years the duo has been making politically charged works independently in each of their own studios like a non concealed exquisite corpse, one picking up where the other left off. In true quilter format, the duo worked on this new series side by side on the series, making each decision together.
Made almost entirely from donated materials, the textile paintings make direct connections between time and place, conjuring the spirit of a time with color and pattern. They signify the sensorial experience of existence in place, not a representation of that place. RoCoCo shares these experiences with the viewer with an overload of sensory stimulation in the paintings. Their representation of this place hits you like a self-deprecating dystopia. With a punk rock angst, they illustrate a subjective narrative of living through modernity with all its complications.
– excerpt from Amanda Walters, August 2019 (edited by RoCoCo, September 2019)