This artwork is part of the CHKOUN AHNA exhibition that takes place in the Carthage National Museum, Tunisia. Curated by Khadija Hamdi and Timo Kaabi-Linke.
This artwork involves enhancing the threshold of the exhibition and provokes interaction of the visitors. The threshold stands as a line of separation and connection. Using a thin aluminium sheet I fabricated the shape of the entrance/exit to the gallery space where the works are exhibited.
The non protected metal sheet has a very shallow engraved pattern. The pattern is taken from the lace that is traditionally woven on the island of Pag, Croatia. This specific lace is inscribed in the UNESCO’s Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity. Lace originates from the Roman period and as such has stayed within the culture of the regions where the Romans once ruled. It still is a living tradition of various cultures in the mediterranean circle. Motives are different but the techniques are universal.
The size of the threshold ensures that people interact with it by stepping onto it. The only way to avoid physical contact with the object – and by that to avoid the destruction of its surface – is to take notice of this filigran engraved drawing and to physically stretch the steps.
This spatial intervention provokes different types of interaction. All are passive and aggressive at the same time.
– Some people step unconsciously on the object and leave imprints of their
steps on the metal surface. Others step onto the thresholds consciously even if
they noticed the engraving. Hereby the original engraving will be erased with the time. The threshold becomes a social document because of the visitors individual traces on it. Additionally the museum (floor) will imprint into the art work.
– Third group of visitors consciously avoid the destruction of the piece by
exaggerating their personal movement and making unusually long steps. By doing that the visitor doesn’t contribute to the modification of the object but avoids the conflict of stepping onto an art work.
I would like express my gratitude to MASON JUDAY for helping producing this work and Društvo paških čipkarica “Frane Budak” for providing me with the quality images of some of the most representable samples of the Pag lace.