MELINDA GO

"FOUND: Weapons of Mass Domesticity"

Handkerchief: a square of fabric used to dry one's tears or blow one's nose. Historically, handkerchiefs were also used as a substitute for a white flag of truce or surrender. The utilitarian handkerchief has increasingly dropped out of favor since the invention of Kleenex in the late 1920's. Now considered unhygienic and a vehicle for the spread of germs, caches of handkerchiefs have virtually disappeared from linen closets around the world.

This project is an exploration of the intersection of the domestic realm and the war abroad in response to my personal feeling that the reality of war is increasingly moving towards a filtering and sanitization that nullifies its inherent gravity. For this project I will make and give away 100+ silk-screened handkerchiefs. The handkerchiefs will be printed, in monogram style, with the acronym "W.M.D." (Weapons of Mass Destruction: a term popularized by the media during the Bush Administration). The handkerchief will be neatly packaged and sealed in a cellophane envelope along with a product description card reading:

WMD Handkerchief - Instructions for use:

1) Dry one's tears.
2) Blow one's nose.
3) Substitute for a white flag of surrender or truce.

The performative aspect of this project will include an area set-up with Victorian footstools and a sewing basket with embroidery needles and floss. I will be embroidering the handkerchiefs for the duration of the performance and invite others to join me in a sewing circle.

 

 

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