Installation with three handwoven textiles, wool, approximate dimensions 900 × 1200 mm, 2019.
Binding 1, 90 x 120 cm, wool -Volnarski Kombinat Teteks, Tetovo -Yugoslavia, 1981; Binding 2, 90 x 120 cm, wool -Sloga, Zrenjanin - Yugoslavia, 1970; Binding 3, 90 x 120 cm, wool -Iteks, Ilok - Yugoslavia, 1969
In textile production, ground bindings are the basic weaving patterns upon all fabric is made. Ground Bindings takes its cue from the lives and histories of three preceding generations of women in the family of Kristina Benjocki. Weaving and the exchange value of its direct material outcomes was closely linked to the way each generation managed to survive: during the Second World War, during the time of the Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia and during its violent breakup.
In empathy with female subjectivities, Ground Bindings (Nada, Gizela, Tereza), focuses on feminist genealogies and embodies transgenerational trauma that is passed on between daughter, mother, grandmother and great grandmother.
The yarns used to make the three textiles are part of the inheritance the artist recently received.
The three different yarns were produced in factories: ‘Sloga’ from Zrenjanin (present-day Serbia), ‘Iteks’ from Ilok (present-day Croatia) and ‘Teteks’ from Tetovo (present-day North Macedonia).
With the demise of Yugoslavia and its unique socialist model grounded in workplace self management – wherein the Yugoslav system gave workers the right to exercise democratic control on the shop floor – the factories that produced yarns used for the Ground Bindings went through dramatic changes of the late 1990s and early 2000s. The transition to neo-liberal crony capitalism resulted in factory closures and have consequently left many women unemployed or working for multinationals at wages insufficient to sustain their livelihood.