Tania Candiani

Commissioned by Frieze Projects. Presented with Instituto de Vision, Bogotá

Camouflage, 2020

Tania Candiani, Manzanar Relocation Center, Manzanar, California. Making camouflage nets for the War Department. This is one of several War and Navy Department projects carried on by persons of Japanese ancestry in relocation centers.

Tania Candiani (b. 1974, Mexico City; lives in Mexico City) is an interdisciplinary artist who often employs textiles within her work as a narrative resource to consider histories of technology and labor.

Drawing from a group of images by photographer Dorothea Lange, Making camouflage nets for the War Department (1942), Candiani reenacts the forced labor of Japanese Americans incarcerated in concentration camps at Manzanar and the Santa Anita Assembly Center in California during World War II.

Supervised by army engineers, groups of women wove huge, camouflage nets made from hemp, designed to fit over tanks and other war machines. Recreating the giant loom-like structures and working with performers to re-create the camouflage over the course of the art fair, Candiani seeks to make visible the choreography of coerced labor during this reprehensible episode in American history, and to draw correlations the current migrants detentions camps along the US/Mexico border.