Self Support 2017, handwoven scarf made of wool and cotton, 46 x 61 cm. Photography by Joel Boardman
Forsterstrasse 51, Berlin DE
Pirot Notes comprises a body of work encapsulating a yearlong journey made overland from Central Asia to Serbia following the historical trade route and eventual introduction of carpet making to Pirot. During this time Stojanović learnt the art of carpet making and later created this series at the Icelandic Textile Centre in Blönduós, Iceland, where she was an artist in residence during November 2017. The work raises concerns about the preservation of tradition in modern society in drawing direct reference to the artist's own ancestral link to Pirot ćilim weavers and the broader tradition of carpet making in Serbia.
An industrial town in central Serbia, Pirot was home to many weavers and as recently as 1965 over eighteen hundred women lived and weaved there. During a visit to Pirot in 2016, only fifteen women practiced the tradition of carpet making, with steady decline as rural youth continually migrate to larger cities. The carpets are remembered and celebrated by an older generation and these days uncommon to find in the contemporary homes of Belgrade. Pirot ćilims are recognised for their bold geometric patterns and distinctive bright colours, however, Stojanović aims not to replicate the designs used in traditional ćilims, but her series depicts the visual impressions left on the artist during her time spent in Serbia.
In playing with these binaries of old and new, Pirot Notes abstracts the declining practice of Pirot carpet weaving through contemporary symbolism. Given this work is made during a time in which such ćilims are displayed in the contexts of ‘the souvenir shop’ and the ‘heritage museum’, Stojanović’s work alludes to a state of laxity within modern culture itself; a culture focused on an inevitable forward motion towards certain progress and the potential mistakes of abandoning its past.
Of the border 2017, handwoven tapestry made of wool and cotton, 15 x 17 cm. Photography by Joel Boardman
Pirot ode 2017, handwoven tapestry made of wool and cotton, 40 x 89 cm. Photography by Joel Boardman
Left to right: Pirot notes 2017, handwoven tapestry made of wool and cotton, 100 x 80 cm; Herringbone parquet rug 2017, handwoven tapestry made of wool and cotton, 34 x 40 cm. Photography by Joel Boardman.
Pirot Notes 2018, installation views, photos by Joel Boardman