SHIELDS AGAINST VIOLENCE

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  • A Shield that lies

    72×72×38 cm

    plastic, wood, 2012

     

    You enter the mouth. You put words on tongues.

    You are a righteous, holy lie saving us from death; cunning slyness and white, cold blood.

    The content of your speech is unimportant – it is only when you speak that danger vanishes.

  • A Shield that lies - detail

    72×72×38 cm

    plastic, wood, 2012

  • A Shield Lampshade

    70×70×35 cm

    fabric, fake roses, epoxy resin, glass fibre, 2012

     

    No one knows that inside our peaceful and warm house lives he. At first glance, it’s impossible to find any fault with it – the house is atmospheric, cosy and neat. Nobody suspects that behind the thick, flowery living-room curtains hides immense suffering that can be revealed to no one. Not a soul imagines this middle-class, tidy room to be a trap.

    When he appears with his brutality, the only method of survival is the love, directed straight at him, the flowers that pour out from my mouth, filled with tender compliments. It is only my sensibility and femininity that lightens up the gloom, terror and fear present among the furniture.

    The smell of the flowers in the living-room suffocates me, yet I find refuge in the carefully pleated flowery tablecloths which are my protection against it. I manage to survive thanks to the fragrant praise and the props that are within my reach.

     

  • A Shield against female circumcision

    70×70×35 cm

    animal leather, acacia thorns, epoxy resin, glue, pigments, glass fibre, 2011

     

    The girl is held down, usually by her mother. The outer and inner labia and the clitoris are cut out by a specially assigned woman with a dirty razor or a piece of glass. There are known cases of epidermis removal within the vagina. The skin is pierced with an acacia thorn, then the vagina is sewn up so that only a small opening is left for the passage of menstrual blood. Poor sanitation often results in acute complications, infections or blood loss which leads to death.

    Female circumcision, or female genital mutilation, is present within many peoples of Africa, South America, New Guinea, Australia and islands on the Pacific Ocean. There are about 130 million circumcised women living around the world. The number of circumcision acts annually exceeds 2 million, which gives about 6 thousand acts daily. The circumcision is usually performed on a-few-days-old newborns but there are also cases of girls aged 6-10, teenagers and adult women. The meaning of circumcision is rooted in religion and culture. Traditional beliefs seek in the act a method of controlling women’s sexuality, which is to guarantee maintaining virginity and marital fidelity. A partially closed vagina can be opened only by the husband.

    (...)

    This shield is dedicated to Waris Dirie, whose book “Desert flower” inspired me to create it.

  • A Shield against female circumcision - detail

    70×70×35 cm

    animal leather, acacia thorns, epoxy resin, glue, pigments, glass fibre, 2011

  • A shield ram

    70×70×55 cm

    spray paint, metal, epoxy resin, glass fibre, 2013

     

    I am a one-eyed ram. I run, as do the others. I don’t have an eye. On my head is placed a horn of my own. It was supposed to protect me, to put up resistance when it would crash into others, to press forward and repel aggressive individuals, to fight and give me a sense of power and safety.

    Instead, mutated, it began to twist unnaturally and aim towards the inside of me, against the evolution of nature. Its power and the ability to draw and guard boundaries began to grow into my soft spot. The eye fought, but under the pressure of the horn the delicate tissue gave way and the energy the horn filled the inner space more and more. The mutilated spot kept on bleeding and swelling. Only one eye was left.

    After years the wound dried and the horn became a symbol of metallic and constantly nearing death. A scythe-bearing lady is still present in the injured ram. As an integral, sharp part of it she is firmly stuck and lurking in the shadows of his soul. She can kill at any time. With her aimed at the inside of him he cannot engage in a fight. Hitting her would result in sticking the blade even deeper – the ultimate self-destruction.

    Tamed death is on guard and waiting.

  • A Shield eroticism of the mind

    69×62×30 cm

    lingerie, epoxy resin, glass fibre, 2012

     

    It was early in my childhood that I grew fond of physical and mental pain, brutality and humiliation. Over the years I wandered around without realizing it. When I matured, in pain and cries I understood how much I needed to start taking care of myself. From now on the adult, developed brain has to be in charge of being aware of my sex drive and genitals. A brain which will defend me from subsequent injuries and humiliation.

    I have been programmed to experience pleasure with the one man who was terribly dangerous. Childlike, stimulated sexuality and psyche opened for pain, reacting with arousal even in a situation of risk. I have desired men who threatened my life and health. A pattern developed in the childhood has become a matrix which would never leave me. The curse, the cruel fate weakened me. Only understanding wept over the miserably trapped sex drive. The brain of a grown woman had to start looking after her own emotionality and sexuality, consciously decide who to let inside me.

  • A Shield eroticism of the mind - detail

    69×62×30 cm

    lingerie, epoxy resin, glass fibre, 2012

  • A shield of a savage

    74×74×39 cm

    fur, ketchup, epoxy resin, glass fibre, 2012

     

    A trickle of blood is dribbling from my mouth.

    I sunk my teeth into living, fresh meat and nothing had stopped me. Becoming engrossed in it, I experienced bliss. With a wild gaze, red and smeared with blood, I am safe, submitted to the instincts and eternal cycles of the merciless, yet innocent nature.

  • A thorn shield

    72×72×55 cm

    acacia thorns, glue, 2012

     

    In a humiliating situation, among whistles, my cynic torturers stuffed a shield in my hands. They uncovered the spots I had protected with my hands until then. Striking the shield that had been woven specially for me, they wanted me to defend myself. Decorating me with the shield, they reverently called me a warrior. Mocking me, they saw me suffer and bleed internally.

    I hadn’t realized it was possible to feel pain in so many places at the same time. They kicked me and ordered me to stand up and walk. They wanted me to feel what it means to protect my ideals and values. I had to understand what would happen if I tried to run. Mentally wounded, with the shield merged into my body, I became an ornament of their culture of barbarism.

  • A thorn Shield - detail

    72×72×55 cm

    acacia thorns, glue, 2012

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