Mama’s Apron


Research output: Non-textual formDigital or Visual Products

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Artist statement
'Do not say mourning. It’s too psychoanalytic. I’m not in mourning. I’m suffering.'
Roland Barthes
I saved this apron out of the rubbish several months after my grandmother died, when I went to her house in Slovenia. I could not see her when she was dying, neither I could attend the funeral. That has been the most difficult moment in Australia so far.
I came to her house several months after her death to see it for the last time and to collect an item that would remind me of her. I wanted to choose an everyday item she was using and not only observing. Another important criterion for my selection was its lightness. It must be easily portable to Australia.
I scanned a part of this apron and printed out the blow up image in the manner of Antonioni’s Blow Up so the stiches she was producing can be observed from close up.
Research statement
This apron is a memory from my grandmother. I remember she was wearing it for several decades while she was cooking or reading in the garden. She was fixing it continuously. The passion and care for beautiful things reflect her personality. She was recycling it week by week as a kind of perpetuum mobile—as if it was impossible to wear it out. The patches of seemingly new fabric are reused pockets. She was re-stitching and remaking it until her death at 106 years. The irregular stiches remind me of her humming. They show how she entertained herself and her love for life.
The act of scanning enabled me to ‘freeze’ this fetish and prevent it from further decay. The blow up enabled the detective, surgical inspection into my grandmother’s action.
Original languageEnglish
Place of PublicationCanberra, Australia
PublisherCentre for Creative and Cultural Research, University of Canberra
Media of outputOnline
Publication statusPublished - 2016


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