Mapping Violence

Mapping Violence uses handmade large format atlas fold maps within the codex form to place notions of violence against women into a context other than victimhood. The idea came from a project on an Afghani women who had her ears and nose cut off when trying to leave her husband. This piece moves in a different aesthetic direction, as well as from a single specificity. Included on each map (22 inches x 14 inches) is a variety of crimes from gang rape to acid throwing. The proposition, then, was to create maps that use the image of a woman as part of the topography. Within each map, using gouache and ink, a woman of the specified nation holds firm visually at the country’s edge, repositioning this symbol as a vital part of the land’s representation.
The six countries chosen–Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Brazil, India, Pakistan, and South Sudan– have a high report rate of incidents. This was important when looking for internet news articles to include on the maps. Text taken from internet news reports were printed on 8.5 x 11 inch, common, printer paper. Each is folded to initially hide the contents. The signatures are formed by framing two types of fine end paper: one rough, one smooth. The map is folded in three styles. They are different methods of revealing. Once the map itself is opened, the text can be opened. The images painted can be interpreted as joyous, strong, beautiful. The text must be read to know the ugliness behind the presentation. This allows a basic one to one correspondence where the viewer re-evaluates what is being seen.

The velvet covers (8.25 x 11.25 inches) references medieval sacred books. Brass bosses embedded with bone, an acrylic dome reliquary filled with Latin text and the skull of a small animal, finish the form. The back bosses allow the book to rest comfortably. The interior is lined with silk and framed by brass strips. Signatures are sewn on a leather binding with a tacket stitch. The codex color scheme is sea foam green.

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