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The Waste Land

Rag Bag, Canto II (in series w/The Waste Land), 2017
Photo: Jessica Bebenek

Jessica Bebenek

Jessica Bebenek - Toronto, Canada

Watch this performance progress throughout the night as the artist translates T.S. Eliot’s canonical poem “The Waste Land” into a knitted tapestry. The artist will knit the 500-line poem over 12 hours, using a pattern she created by translating stressed and unstressed beats of each line of poetry into lines of knit and purl stitches.

Eliot’s poem uses intentionally obscure language and references and was written to be understood only by his fellow male Modernists. What happens when Eliot’s coded language is translated into the coded language of a knitting pattern? By performing the hidden labour of knitting, Bebenek critiques the artificial divide between ‘fine arts’ & ‘crafts’ and the systemic devaluation of ‘women’s work’.

Touch the tapestry, listen to the words, read the pattern, discuss ideas, and follow along at #k2togproject & @notyrmuse on Instagram.

Jessica Bebenek is a mixed-media artist focused on language & textiles. Her recent works include Fourth Walk (Desert Pets) & k2tog (Broken Dimanche).

Performance Art


Century of Revolutions Taking to the Streets Life on Neebahgeezis Calculating the Unforeseen Independent Projects Major Institutions Event Centre

401 Richmond

401 Richmond Street West (Freight elevator on main floor)

Suitable for all ages

This project is indoors.