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Unfamiliar Area | e________: Bloody Quilt, War and Death

13 December 2023 > 13 January 2024 Kindly invited to the mini online exhibition "Bloody Quilt, War and Death" by e_________, as a part of Unfamiliar Area project.



A woollen Ukrainian tablecloth or bedspread, which can easily be imagined as a wall decoration, is printed with typography; the artist's own digital signature. The work can be interpreted as a typographic grave, a tribute to the victims of the Russian-Ukrainian war.

The Cyrillic inscription in a bright red colour that shines stingingly on the trim – Кровью цветёт яблонный сад – translated as Apple orchard blooms with blood, is designed according to the principle of the typographic marking system of old Soviet military uniforms. Added value to the letters is the indented shape that resembles the apple seed; the inscription of the trim is a verse from a well-known Russian war poem, which talks about soldiers' pockets in which they deliberately carry apple seeds. If the inevitable happens, they are fertilised with the blood of fallen soldiers, and an apple tree is planted with the victim at the place of the slaughter.

The apple tree and its fruit carry a lot of symbolism. In the territory of the former Soviet Union, especially on Ukrainian soil, the apple tree is also considered a mark of a mass grave – the regime during the Holodomor, a planned mass killing in the 1930s, did not allow the placement of tombstones, so mourners, in memory of the dead, planted apple trees instead of graves. Its fruit, the apple, is at the same time a symbol of death and birth, a symbol of a fallen man, a symbol of immortality and rebirth.

The inscription The apple orchard blooms with blood like a fence hems flower beds; types of names and surnames, which are separated each time by an apple – a landmark and simultaneously a monument to the deceased. Names are handwritten; deliberately and carefully, and collected through personal losses, testimonies and as a response from the artist's relatives, acquaintances and war migrants.

With its deviation, one of the edges of the quilt provides room for planting or stitching the surface, which indicates the incompleteness of enumeration, the possibility of continuing to plough the fields and grow the orchard. The textile work offers us a tactile confrontation with death and at the same time a warm shelter. By writing names on a portable monument, the artist permanently plants a memory, whereas recognisable apples are born from the budding internalisation.

Maruša Uhan


 

e_________ is a multidisciplinary artist, primarily a graphic designer. She specializes in 3D design, typography and textiles. By combining the above areas, she encourages the opening of dialogues in society, and with the help of new approaches of design awareness, highlights pressing issues for her. She opposes the idea that the designer becomes the voice of the people by acting in this way, because the desire for such great responsibility leads to the collapse of creativity. In 2023, she received the American Graphis New Talent award in the field of design with her work Calendar Coat; she exhibited her graphic works in the framework of appointMENT (2023), ARS 60 years (2023), Time and Materiality (SEM Museum, 2023) and And Now East (Timișoara and Bucharest, Romania, 2023). As a member of the collective Bastardi, she exhibited with the project For Good Old Times in the gallery Portal 2-7-7-7-8 (2023) and We Are Looking for a Collective Father in the gallery Kavadarci (North Macedonia, 2022).

 


 Bloody Quilt, War and Death, 190 cm × 170 cm, 2023, photography by: Hana Podvršič


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Other Unfamiliar Area exhibitions

Nina Baznik: Unfamiliar area (Neznano področje)
and others (at the bottom of the page)
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Curated by: Maruša Uhan
Proof-reading (of Slovene): Sonja Benčina
Translation (to English): Ana Makuc
Financial support: Ministry for Culture of the Republic of Slovenia, City Council Ljubljana - Department for Culture