2009 - DESCONOCIDA:UNKNOWN
A political art project, devised, organised and performed by the Norwegian textile and performance artist Lise Bjørne Linnert, highlighting women’s fight against abuse, femicides and human trafficking.
What we wanted to do
Invite Norwegian artist Lise Bjørne Linnert to create a response to the murder of 560 women and disappearance of many hundreds more in Ciudad Juarez. This is a town that lies in the difficult 'Entre algo y la nada' - between something and nothing - the 2,000 mile ‘Amerixa’ border between Mexico and the USA.
What we achieved
An exhibition at UCA Epsom titled 'Desconocida : Unknown', the central element of which was the hand embroidered name tags pinned onto a wall 10m x 2m. These name tags have been embroidered by participants in workshops in 22 different countries. Each name tag is 2cm x 8 cm, some are in coloured thread, some white. Those in coloured thread are the names of the murdered women in Juarez, those in white contain the word Unknown, written in the language of the embroiderer, representing all the unknown women worldwide who experience similar abuse. At the time of the exhibition the number of name tags on the wall is 1,537, but this figure changes as events unfold, unfortunately is always increasing. Lise Bjørne Linnert has since gone on to exhibit this wall of nametags at Pallant House in Chichester and internationally.
The exhibition also contained body sized Rayographs made directly in the darkroom, without using a camera. They are of her breath as she gives voice to the sense of courage and strength displayed by the women in Juarez. She also created a special voice recording which was played at intervals during the day.
Lise Bjørne Linnert also ran a workshop in which participants embroidered more nametags and learnt about and discussed the project.
The book accompanying the exhibition was sponsored by the Freedom of Expression Foundation Norway (Institusjonen Fritt Ord).
29 participating countries in 2009