Posted on March 19, 2019
Yaniv Stacy, high-neck, unisex, wearable inside-out, Chemnitz 2018 | © Studio Ivonne Dippmann
thekidswantcommunism (tkwc) is a collaborative textile project initiated by Agnes Friedrich and Ivonne Dippmann in 2017. Under FriedrichDippmann we now launch a limited edition of eighty knitted sweaters and few beanies that have been locally produced in my hometown Chemnitz. With a total of eight different designs each is limited to an edition of ten.
How did we come up with this topic? In spring 2017 I took part in a conference on communism at CCA, Tel Aviv that was based on the exhibition The Kids Want Communism at MoBY Museums of Bat Yam, directed and curated by Joshua Simon. We were a small group of participants who shared ideas on communism and on how this term can be re-defined to work in our present society.
Within the process of my recent artbook project, Liebeslied Chemnitz – Tel Aviv, FriedrichDippmann launched a textile-based collaboration that created a dialogue between Tel Aviv and Chemnitz. We combined the catchy title of Joshuas exhibition with the iconography of the Karl Marx bust in Chemnitz. With a somehow ‘romantic view’ on communism we created various patterns, limited to a four colour system that was possible to be translated into knitwear technology. Together with the professorship of textile technologies at TU Chemnitz and maximo-Strickmoden we designed and manufactured a first series of twelve individual knitted sweaters. As part of the artbook publication we’ve been documenting these prototypes in Tel Aviv and featured twelve friends along with their individual stories at their favourite place-to-be. I therefore chose people who I embrace for their vision, mindfulness and ability of sharing their life and ideas with others. Their individual choice to live in Israel is hereby a crucial aspect and influence regarding their way of life and creating a vision. Through their eyes I’ll hope to give a glimpse of what makes this place so magical and diverse to me.
I’ve been back and forth in Israel for the past ten years, be it as student, artist or to see friends. In Tel Aviv I used to live in Florentine district that is heart and center of textile production, full of workshops, studios and family businesses. Unlike studying in Jerusalem, the atmosphere in Florentine reminded me of the former textile industry in my hometown Chemnitz. There, since a young age, I’ve been surrounded by smells of fabrics because my family worked in this field. Back in the days, Karl-Marx-Stadt has been center of textile production in East Germany. Around three quarter of workers that have been employed in the producing industry worked in the field of textile production. Based in Karl-Marx-Stadt were for instance VEB* Textima, VEB Clara Zetkin, VEB Esda or VEB Polar. Today, maximo–Strickmoden, former VEB Polar, is the only company that still operates in textiles in Chemnitz today. Unfortunately, due to gentrification and real estate business, more and more workshops and family businesses in Florentine are closing. If you visit this part of town today, you can witness how parcels are sold off bit by bit. In a couple of years most workshops in this area will be gone.
I’ve lived in Florentine from 2009 until 2013. Without being nostalgic, I feel that I’ve been very lucky to live there when rents were affordable and artists had options and venues to explore. In its essence, thekidswantcommunism can be interpreted as an attempt to remind ourselves of Marx’ vision ‘Workers of the world, unite!’ as an updated version in times of competition and upcoming nationalism worldwide. Moreso it’s a homage to craftsmanship, passion, creativity and the art of collaboration within our individual capacities.
Based on the feedback and support of our colleagues in Chemnitz and Tel Aviv we decided to produce this limited knitwear edition that is now up for sale (sweater 365 Euro, beanie 65 Euro). We wish for each item to find their proper owner and partner in crime. All interviews and images produced in Tel Aviv in autumn 2017 will be published as part of the artbook Liebeslied Chemnitz – Tel Aviv this year. The process of both projects is documented under #liebesliedtlvc / #lltlvc or #thekidswantcommunism / #tkwc.
We’d like to say thank you to everyone who has been involved and supported this project, especially to our partners, models and Joshua Simon who invited this project to the closing event of The Kids Want Communism at MoBY in November 2017. There we presented the first edition of twelve designs as performance piece.
*VEB: nationally owned company
First prototype, Sarah Yotam, unisex, wearable inside-out, Dvision Studio Tel Aviv 2017 | © FriedrichDippmann
Chemnitz Nov 2017, mood lltlvc with Luca Lombardi and Thomas Bruder | © Studio Ivonne Dippmann
First prototype, Yael Benjamin, unisex, wearable inside-out, Tel Aviv 2017 | © Goni Riskin for koma6
First prototype, Yael Benjamin, unisex, wearable inside-out, Dvision Studio Tel Aviv 2017 | © FriedrichDippmann
Tel Aviv Apr 2017, mood lltlvc | © Studio Ivonne Dippmann
Timothy Michelle, high-neck, unisex, wearable inside-out, Chemnitz 2018 | © Studio Ivonne Dippmann
Chemnitz Jun 2017, mood lltlvc | © Studio Ivonne Dippmann
thekidswantcommunism – sweater and beanie Model: Yael Benjamin, high-neck, unisex, wearable inside-out by FriedrichDippmann © photography Tomaso Baldessarini, Berlin 2018
Right: Timothy Michelle, low-neck, unisex, wearable inside-out & back-to-front – Left: photo collage, A4, 1/81, collectors edition #liebesliedtlvc, Berlin 2019 | © Studio Ivonne Dippmann
Timothy Michelle, low-neck, unisex, wearable inside-out & back-to-front, Chemnitz 2018 | © Studio Ivonne Dippmann
Sarah Yotam, high-neck, unisex, wearable inside-out, Chemnitz 2018 | © Studio Ivonne Dippmann
Limited edition of various beanies – Model: Sarah Yotam, one size, one of a kind by FriedrichDippmann, an art project between Chemnitz and Tel Aviv
thekidswantcommunism – sweater Model: Sarah Yotam, high-neck, unisex, wearable inside-out by FriedrichDippmann
Low-neck edition in four different designs, unisex, wearable inside-out, Chemnitz 2018 | © Studio Ivonne Dippmann