0000100011

NEW WORLD ORDER 

textile 

alexander levy gallery 

Berlin

2020

 

For the work 0000100011 - New World Order the outlines of the territorial borders from all countries of our earth are assembled into a camouflage pattern and printed onto textile. As a result, the geographical locations as we know them, as well as the sizes of the individual countries is skewed: in this rearranged pattern Australia directly borders Pakistan and Uganda is scaled larger than the United States. On several levels, the outlines of the world‘s political borders are superimposed in such a way that they overlap and cross each other, creating fictitious new borders and territories, making old state borders unrecognizable. The work takes the long-held act of drawing borders to the point of absurdity and charges it with a further dynamic by referring to the contemporary production of camouflage patterns, which for this work have been applied through the use of computers. What emerges is the camouflaged pattern of a world army, the clothing of a military force that will never exist and which, deprived of its original task - the defense of a state and its interests against external threats - claims an existence devoid of meaning. The artwork deals with repressive border politics and can be understood as an artistic reflection on the topics of annexations, asylum, migration and the understanding of territorial integrity. It is intended to also enable a way of looking at borders as places of generative struggles, where alternative subjectivities and agencies can be formed and shaped.

For the work 0000100011 Ekaterina Burlyga has bleached military uniforms until their patterns dissolved. Thus, their originally intended function as disguise got removed. The word camouflage comes from the French language and relates to the art of concealment, deception and misdirection. Camouflage patterns are made of a variety of colors and shapes, which are suitable to visually dissolve the contours of an object or person against a background, therefore creating a deception. Because camouflage clothing is supposed to cause an optical fusion with the environment, the patterns differ depending on the intended place of use. Since most nations have their own standardized military clothing, such patterns can often be assigned to specific militaries or paramilitary organizations, making it quite possible for troops to be recognized and identified solely through their camouflage pattern. Hence, camouflage comes to function as form of identifier or nationality, in spite of its’ intended disguising purpose. In the artwork, the clothing is therefore not only stripped of camouflage dye but its national connection has a been blurred too. For the bleaching process itself the artist has used chlorine. The name of the element comes from the ancient Greek word chlōrós, which means ‚pale green’. This name was chosen after the typical yellow-green color of chlorine gas, which was often used as a chemical weapon in times of war. In its desaturated color, a green-yellow hue, the military clothing takes on a color similar to that of chlorine gas.