Talking Textiles with Rosana Palazyan
Rosana Palazyan - Phaidon - Interview - April, 01, 2019
1-Who are you and what’s your relationship with/ connection to threads and textiles?
I'm Rosana Palazyan, brasilian with armenian descent, carioca raised in the suburb of Rio de
Janeiro. A woman with intermixed cultural influences. And since very young age, concerned to
social issues and equal rights to people, on several fronts. In thirty years of production,
working in a variety of media (embroidery, drawing, installation, photo, video, performance and
public art projects). I have been developing experiements in the field of art, life and society,
along with the incorporation of the Other and proposing reflections on the social field of art. I
believe in love, as a form of resistance and cure.
To talk about the use of textiles, threads and embroidery (my principal experience with textile,
started in 1989), is to talk about my trajectory since the beginning. It is part of a process that I
understand as both in art and in life. Since my background (through the formal questions in the
field of art and the media with which I chose to work). Until the understanding of my
autobiographical memory, which was transformed during this process, and that I call as a reinvented
I had to pass by all this process to activate the memory: I've always been surrounded by
textiles since childhood. I remember to see my grandmother always embroidering or creating
other kind of textile works, every day, while taking care of me and my brother, so my mother
could go out to work. My grandmother when very young, was an embroidery teacher while
living as refugee in Greece (in consequence of the Armenian genocide -1915/1923). She
taught it to women, so that they could earn a living afterwards. And when she arrived in Brazil,
embroidery was this possibility to her too.
But always when my grandmother tried to teach me, I never wanted to learn it. I had think
about embroidery and in textile's works, as a task of women from the past. I always said to
her, that I wanted to be a contemporary woman. And my example was my mother, who unlike
the mothers of my friends, was an independent woman (but even she had as a hobby, to make
beautiful contemporary dresses for her friends).
Graduated in architecture and urbanism (1986), I worked very little time with it, but this work
gave me the possibility to support art classes (which was always my first wish). And although I
started the art courses with painting in 1988, I quickly realized that this was not my language.
Finally, after this process, when I began to use embroidery as part of my life, I thought: "I will
invent another way for people to see the embroidery." And I created my own embroidery -
different from that one, which in childhood, I believed to be a female and docile work (as it has
long been labeled). Subverting this memory, I allied strength, courage, indignation and
struggle to the delicacy.