Radical Lace and Subversive Crochet

"I wanted to turn an oversize, macho, gas-guzzling vehicle into a technological ghost by shrouding it in a white, fuzzy cover reminiscent of women's hard work from another time, another place." - Jerilea Zempel
Fibre artist Jerilea Zempel, known for public art projects that take a humourous and for some, a provocative approach to subjects like violence, war and the environment, was featured on the comedy news show, the Colbert Report last week, in a skit called America’s Fragile Borders. Her art, part social satire, part political activism, challenges viewers to reflect on the meaning of traditional historical monuments, as well as our use of everything from guns to gas-guzzlers. Examples include a piece installed outside a Polish military museum in 1995 called Guns and Rosettes in which she shrouded a Soviet tank with what appears to be an enormous pink doily. The Colbert Report skit, a spoof on American Homeland Security, chronicles Zempel’s experience this past summer. Upon returning home to the U.S. from Canada, she was detained by U.S. customs agents at the border after drawings in her artist sketchbook, showing an SUV adorned in a lacy white coverlet (a piece she now calls Homeland Security Blanket) caused the customs agent to suspect her of being an industrial spy. In October, the Plattsburgh, New York newspaper, The Press Republican reported the details in this article, Keene artist had a hard time getting back into the U.S.

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