Barbara Koenen
Mashadi War Rug
2002
turmeric, pepper, sesame, cinnamon, mace, salt, coriander
This spice war rug was made as part of the Memento Mori exhibition, hosted by LIPA Gallery and curated by Vesna Rebernak. It's fringe has popper firecrackers glued to it, and during the opening a man kept walking on it, setting off the pops, and seemingly oblivious to the whole thing. Those are his footsteps. Alan Artner wrote a nice review of the work in the Chicago Tribune.

This piece is based on a carpet we purchased on Ebay. It is a smaller war rug, like a prayer rug. Probably made for a guerilla fighter, Mujahadeen, by someone in his family. It depicts small arms, an AK-47, pistol and grenades. The US supported the Mujahadeen, covertly providing arms and assistance. Later, when the Soviets withdrew after 9 years of occupation, the U.S. lost interest in supporting the Mujahedeen, and they became Taliban.
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