Welcome to the EU, 2016
Long: 115 x High: 153 cm x Wide: 100 cm
Welded iron
installation view, 17th Art Biennial, Serbia, 2016
Photos © Vladimir Pavic

In its first drawn iteration, Oravecz depicted a literal ring-of-fire as her Welcome to the EU, referencing both the metaphorical psychological and actual bureaucratic hoops one need “jump through” in order to access a privileged place within the EU. Its sculptural form features metal stars surrounding the hoop, acting as pseudo-decorative elements that frame the “welcome” beyond. In reality, these stars represent a layered lexicon at work within Oravecz’s practice concerning immigration. While beautiful and inviting, they are sharp and prevent entry, physically and even optically. This harsh and fickle visual experience ultimately refers to the immigration crisis within the European Union, as countless immigrants and refugees live without documentation or simply, cannot enter. A former immigrant herself, often living illegally in various European countries, Oravecz uses materials ranging from actual Visa paperwork to community interaction as a means to interrogate the inconsistencies in immigration policy within the European Union.
(Laurel McLaughlin)