Ania Mininkova

Measuring, cutting and tying 65,000 strings of jute into 12,000 knots for a life-size sniper suit was an exercise in insanity. I undertook it to understand my place in a larger insanity: the war in the East of Ukraine.

The coarse, rough fibers speak of brutality, suffering and impenetrable landscape of the East.  

Over the weeks of work the way I felt changed. Stripped of its primary function, the texture and shape made a shift, allowing it to become an object of unity and resilience.   

The long grinding process of shaping and painting metal shell of a landmine – the number one cause of civilian death toll in Ukraine and post-war countries around the world – let me abstract it into typological artefact.

I gave myself a freedom to interpret its purpose as a future spectator – unaware of concepts of violence and war – might have.

Devoid of context, it became a left behind object of a vanished civilisation, something one might see presented in a sanitary museum display with a tag "Unidentified object. Approx. beginning of XXI century".

Sappers in Ukraine have so far destroyed around 49,000 explosives, according to official figures, although both foreign monitors and the warring sides struggle to estimate how many remain.

The Guardian

Shapeshifting 2017:

1. "Ethnic Attire, Unidentified Tribe. Early XXI century, Western Eurasia"

Jute, fishing net

2. "Unidentified object. Steel, approx. beginning of XXI century".

Sheet metal used in landmine training, car paint

3. "Unidentified object, approx. beginning of XXI century".

Ink on paper and cardboard

Using Format