The exhibition of the Slovakian activistic art group Kundy Crew has a form of monumental reproductions of embroideries placed in public space. With the help of this traditional technique the members of the group comment on current social issues: the role of women in the society, homophobia, nationalism or the women’s right to a revolt. The name of the exhibition „She should have provoked“ refers ironically to the idea of a „deserved“ punishment for all women who dare to step out of the line.
Banal sayings change in their interpretation into provocative statements such as: „I fight like a chick.“, „There is only one mother. Or sometimes two of them!„ These simple sentences show their effort to call deep-rooted truths into question and break the stereotypes. As for the choice of the technique they point out: „We liked the contrast between a precise technique requiring patience and angry statements which wouldn’t be enough to write them just on a paper.“ The authors comment on the Artwall exhibition as follows: „Embroidery, as an activity belonging strictly to women in the past, symbolized the isolation of housewives but at the same time it was one of just few acceptable means of their expression. Lifting the technique out of the household „sanctuary“ and placing it into a public place leads to a reflection and reassessment of the attitudes to the given issues. A cross stitch as a conservative medium to some extent, becomes this way a bearer of radical messages and helps to create new „traditions“ which are not based on prejudices and stereotypes.“
The Kundy Crew authors comment on feminism in their work. The exhibition „She should not have provoked“ represents feminism as a legitimate attitude we should not feel ashamed for, both in art or civil life. The Kundy Crew authors claim allegiance to feminism: they respect equal rights for both sexes and speak out against social prejudices associated with fixed gender roles. „For the major part of our history the post of women used to be in household sphere into which embroideries belonged. The entry of embroideries with feminist slogans into public space symbolizes a disruption and a change of traditional gender roles,“

Lenka Kukurová

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