Is It Alive TextielMuseum Tilburg

Inspiring exhibition Is It Alive?

With inspiring exhibitions in the field of textile design, visual arts and industrial heritage, the Textiel Museum is an inspiring place where something as close as textiles is examined from different perspectives. The textile museum partly presents the recent history of the rise of the textile industry, with a focus on Tilburg. Another important part is that current developments in ‘textiles’ are highlighted in an insightful manner. Although an important aspect, this goes beyond how ‘textiles’ are made and how textiles influence our lives almost continuously in its many different manifestations.

Installation view spatial and moving textile design Studio Drift, TextielMuseum Tilburg

Historical themes and the present

In this way, the museum touches on aspects of our history, industrialization, knowledge development, social developments and heritage and the numerous interwoven aspects that connect these histories with contemporary stories.

Room overview textile lab with machinery TextielMuseum Tilburg

Textile Lab a direct connection to the present

In addition to these historical themes, this museum has a direct bridge and connection to the present. Here in the Textile Lab, research into new possibilities and applications is conducted almost every day. Here, researchers, designers and visual artists work on the development of new insights, new applications of textile materials and the connection with current events such as sustainability, technology and/or new applications in textile materials.

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Is it Alive?

Lucid Dream Iris van Herpen and Philip Beesley, TextielMuseum Tilburg Is it Alive

Presentations on historical themes alternate with exhibitions highlighting current textile developments. To start with the latter, there is now a new exhibition: “Is it alive?” Open from October 14, 2023 to April 7, 2024.

Inside the Blooming Surface, Tanja Smeets, Is it Alive, TextielMuseum Tilburg

For a museum in motion, which of course the Textile Museum is with its workshop and Textile Lab, an exhibition with movement as a theme is of course ‘bulls-eye.’
“Is it alive” shows spatial textile installations that come to life in connection with the application of technology. This also makes it an ‘experience exhibition’, so to speak, in which the installations presented surround you and respond to your presence. The objects move, sway, invite you to interact. The textiles rustle, crackle and the objects vibrate, seem to breathe and come to life as if they were commodities.

When do we experience something as 'alive'?

The spatial textile installations arose from a fascination with natural processes, because how does something come to life? And when do we experience something as ‘alive’?

It all comes together in ‘Is it alive?’: innovation, textiles, technology and art, inspired by life itself. The central focus is ‘I am Storm’ by artist duo DRIFT (Lonneke Gordijn and Ralph Nauta). The new and never-before-seen installation consists of twenty life-size blades that wave in an imaginary breeze.

Living Architecture Systems Group

Lucid Dream detail

You will also experience the unique ‘living architecture’ of artist and architect Philip Beesley/Living Architecture Systems Group (LASG), an activated look by fashion designer Iris van Herpen, two interactive works by Bart Hess and extensive work by Tanja Smeets. In the exhibition we also take you through the creative process, which makes it clear that artists are sometimes inventors and can drive innovation.

Studio Drift spatial installation room overview detail

Textiles and New Technology

Seeing this exhibition immediately makes it clear what the important role and position of the Textile Lab and the Textile Museum are as a working museum. A place where textile design can be developed and produced with (modern) machines. In this process it also immediately becomes clear how past and present remain connected and how the ‘living museum’ plays an important role with its workshops, as a place of knowledge sharing and knowledge transfer. The Textile Museum is now internationally recognized, precisely because of this role and the opportunity it offers to investigate or completely reinvent manufacturing processes. New applications in textiles, in knitting and weaving, and in the addition of new materials and work processes, partly under the influence of new technology.

Feel invited to be a part of this and visit the Textile Museum and the Textile Lab. Discover textiles as you have never seen them before and delve into some of the history of the textile industry as it developed here in Tilburg. Read more about Textile Museum and Textile Lab in this blogpost.
For the most up-to-date information, follow the link to the Textile Museum website here.

The address to visit the Textielmuseum is: Goirkestraat 96, 5046 GN Tilburg (see the map below).

The exhibition “Is it alive?” Open from October 14, 2023 to April 7, 2024.

Note: The museums in the Netherlands are closed on Monday’s

“You see, this brings you back up to speed. Arrange your stay in Tilburg to visit the Textiel Museum at easy, and even visit the De Pont Museum as well? No need to delve into that long tail of search results on Google, you can directly book your best choice here. You found it!”

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