Windless, Variations for the EU Flag Nr.2, 2016
Long: 300 cm x High: 200 cm x Depth: 3 cm
Wall painting: colour Pantone Reflex Blue, RGB:
0/51/153; 12 Shuriken
installation view, 17th Art Biennial, Serbia, 2016
Photos © Vladimir Pavic

For Oravecz’s second variation on her “Windless” flag, she ironically composed a circle made from Japanese shuriken, star-shaped weapons thrown upon opponents and whose name means, “sword hidden in user’s hand.” In dialogue with her first variation on the EU flag, the domestic kitchen knives becomes a series of shuriken “stabs in the back,” or a Janus-faced “welcome.” With this piece, Oravecz responds, once again, to Hungary’s problematic immigration policies. The shuriken symbolize a deceiving welcome, violently trapping the viewer’s gaze within the circle, much like the immigrants within Hungary once its borders closed in 2015. Prime Minister Viktor Orban claims that the erection of the barbed-wire wall is intended to protect the sovereign nation of Hungary – but at what cost to its own citizens and to other? Whether inside the wall or outside of it, both its barbed wire and exlusionary politics provide a harrowing “welcome.”
(Laurel McLaughlin)