Estudio de un cuadrado 2.0: Anónima by Carmen M.

“Anónima” means anonymous, the chosen term by Carmen M. Castañeda Díaz to express a concept of work behind her own name. It is a concept based on Haute Couture embroidery, artistic experimentation, and the recovery of craft techniques. Estudio de un cuadrado 2.0 series integrates Anónima by cm’s work and concept, by exploring the memory of the “vermicelle” movement(s) in embroidery from the overlapping of materials to its almost nonexistence in the frame.

The Beginning

Carmen M.: After studying Fine Arts at UEM University and Set Design at IED Madrid, it is in Paris at L’École Lesage where I researched and deepened about Haute Couture embroidery techniques, a discipline that became the basis of my artistic language, within a conceptual and abstract context. As a result, I created Anónima by cm, an experimental project in which the materials take prominence and the Haute Couture techniques converge with the artistic ones.

Anónima’s concept

Carmen M.: Anónima is a concept based on the standards of the Haute Couture embroidery, artistic experimentation, and the recovery of traditional craft techniques. From an intimate language about “time”, memory as a state is deconstructed in its different moments, from its maximum essence to its near loss, creating pieces that are on the border between the visible and not visible. They are Series with a storyline as a drawing. The serialization of one embroidered expression shows the difficulty of representing an identity on a single canvas. In my work, the creative process is used as a method to talk about time and the fragility of memory through an abstract, multidisciplinary, and matter language.

Estudio de un cuadrado 2.0

Carmen M.: My work Estudio de un Cuadrado 2.0 is the result of the “Vermicelli” embroidery movement deconstruction, a “continued and infinite S” move made by hand using Lunéville hook. Different grey embroidery materials are studied using this same movement, going from the superposition of these elements to their almost absence. The use of a thread, sometimes real and others, suggested; the repetitive gesticulation of a needle that breaks the silence of the canvas; the rhythm established of minutes and seconds, trying to capture the memory or its absence.

This series is a study of shapes and textures in an abstract language. A work marked by the repetition of the same gesture that makes emerge forms of mental understanding, outside the rhythm of today’s society.

Main techniques and Challenges

Carmen M.: In general, I do not create any drawings for designing the piece because I work directly with the materials and their nature. Sketches are not as essential in my work as the time in the process of handmade techniques. I have worked 150 hours on this piece. One of the most difficult things about the process of this artwork is that I must work on the reverse of the canvas. This allowed me to work only feeling and touching the material without seeing it. I am interested in this method itself because it brings together both the mental process and the technique movement memory.

Carmen M.: In this piece, at first, I thought to create a closed square, but finally, I saw that it was necessary to liberate the materials and make them break or dissolve the memory. This work is composed of 17.500 tubes, 11.000 sequins, 1.300 meters of cotton thread on silk organza. I have used only Lunéville hook with the following hand-embroidered techniques: chain stitch in vermicelli movement, applying sequins and tubes in vermicelli, sugar effect, and garter stitch.

Interview with Carmen M. Castañeda – Anónima by cm | Photography Anónima by cm.