In my work The Carpet I am recreate a pattern used in the traditional Serbian carpet called Pirotski Ćilim. The carpet is made through unique, complex weaving technique which results in identical patterns on the top and bottom surfaces. It was traditionally made by poor women as their way of making a living and the knowledge of its weaving was passed through the maternal line. Due to the carpets fame and international recognition, it became masculinized and repurposed as a new symbol of the neo-national state. It became a specifically Serbian object, and a symbol to be proud of. It suddenly populated all the essentially antimodern new-old architectural spaces of post-communist Serbia. This new repurposed and ultimately masculine symbol is in stark contrast to the carpet’s original feminine heritage. It has been robbed of its original history and replaced with a new one. In the light of its nationalistic repurposing, I took an ambivalent attitude to the carpet, and hence I wanted to recognize its original roots. In my installation I reproduce the pattern of the carpet, but the pattern is now balanced above the ground on needles which embody my prevailing feeling toward it— the aching ambivalence. The long crafting method I performed resembles the original process it took to make the Pirotski Cilim. The intensive labor is not visible in the delicately crafted object; therefore it makes the whole work seem effortless.

back to top