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Project “Come in the form of milk”

“Events that happened at the 9th fort are so cruel that no amount of metaphor is able to describe it. It is humbling for my generation, that went through no adversities in comparison, therefore I feel a strong sense of gratitude for being here and living in peace and freedom. That is thanks to people who fought till the end without giving up, and those overcoming unimaginable and building a life in spite of it. Working with the memorial monument and the fort itself, I focused partly on the symbols already used in the monument and also created my own. The main idea I wanted to convey was of human resilience and hope at the end of the tunnel. Showing the juxtaposition of vulnerable human bodies against the brutalist concrete architecture, seeing children as a gift and promise of a new future. Coming out alive.”

The idea of the project called “Come in the form of milk” is to reinterpret the memorial to the victims of Nazism at the Ninth Fort in Kaunas in a visual language, with emotional rather than logical associations. To capture the genius loci and to remind us of human resilience: psychological, emotional, physical, and in the form of community. I took the iconology directly from the supreme part of the memorial which symbolizes liberation, depicting a powerful flow of figures emerging from violence and terror, and breaking free from oppression. A prominent feature is the clenched fists crowning the composition, so I focused on this gesture and developed it further.

I chose to use human hair in this project, but is not a unique idea – it was my favorite material for many years. I favor it for it`s ambiguity, both good and bad connotations and direct connection to the human body. Working with human hair form a particular location gives me a visceral connection to the community. In human hair I see our connection to ancestors, and infinite cycle of growth. The unified costumes we are wearing as a group were selected as anonymous uniform of people all over the world – the track suit, the gray color also plays with the color of the concrete in 9th forth (there are two versions, one with the memorial – sign of the resistance – and without.) The children in the group symbolize hope and the “here and now” situation. Children that don’t belong to anyone, that appear and vanish, that are maybe a gift, maybe a misfortune for the planet, but definitely sign of human resilience to get up and look ahead despite all the misfortunes.

 Artist Karin Pisarikova

Project “Come in the form of milk”

MoFu 365/360 is an international artistic residencies project. It`s participants: Kaunas – European Capital of Culture 2022 (Lithuania), Lviv Cultural Strategy Institute (Ukraine), Interdisciplinary arts center Brno Vaizard, z.ú. (Czech Republic), the Association for Regional Development in the Kortrijk region and the intergovernmental heritage organization Intercommunale Leiedal (Belgium) have invited artists, together with local researchers and the heritage community, to create artistic projects in modernist buildings. These unique projects highlight Europe’s heritage of modernism and seek to reflect its current significance for global society. The final results of the project will be presented in January 2022 during the exhibition in Kaunas, on the opening weekend of the European Capital of Culture.