Participatory performance at Ambacht in Beeld (Craft in Focus) Amsterdam festival, September 23-24, 2017

Ik wil de tempo vertragen.
Ik wil de tijd nemen om te kijken hoe iets wordt gemaakt.
Ik wil het materiaal met mijn handen aanraken,
het beroeren,
me bewust worden van mijn tactiele zintuigen.
Ik wil voelen dat ik er ben.
Ik wil voelen dat jij er bent.
Ik wil jou leren kennen.
Ik wil mezelf leren kennen.
Eenzaamheid…
Voel jij dat ook?
Laten we samen iets maken.

Handreiking, Alya Hessy, 2017

Photography Bram Kloos

How can I find words for something that can only be experienced?
Can words convey a sense of touch?
Can I describe what it feels like to connect to another human being?
I can try, but I’d rather leave it to you, the viewer.

The concept is very simple. I invite you to step in and join the performance. You stretch out your arms and get connected to the “body of work” (we are arm-knitting together on one huge piece). You join the circle and become a part of the work – a maker and a performer. I walk around feeding the thread to your hands, you make the loops, the knitting keeps growing. We can talk, smile or just keep quiet. It is up to you. We are connected – no need to feel lonely…

I had imagined a huge circle of hands, so that I would walk in the middle of a huge knitted tunnel-like structure, but in reality there would be 2-4-8 people knitting at the same time. To my surprise, the most eager participants were children. But there were adults, too. Women AND men! Another unexpected phenomenon was that some kids kept coming back for more! Since the performance took place during two days, some kids dragged their parents back to De Hallen the second day and knitted with me again! Thank you, lovely people!