It’s hard to pigeonhole Stanislava Pinchuk as any one kind of artist and with her new body of work Borders (The Magnetic Fields), she succeeds in making it even harder.
Stanislava, known widely by her artist name Miso, has graced the pages of our fair print mag before, where we delved into her work as both a widely exhibited artist, and skilled tattoo artist. After successfully mapping areas of conflict—including Chernobyl and Fukushima—through her painstaking process of hammering sweeping patterns on paper dot-by-dot, Miso returns with a body of work created during her time spent in Calais ‘Jungle’ Refugee Camp.
We asked Miso to tell us a little more about the concept behind the project, her first foray into sculpture, and why this area of turmoil and transience in northern France became the subject of a six-month study, below.
Over the last six months, I’ve been working on the ground, data mapping the changing topographies of the Calais ‘Jungle’ Refugee Camp evacuation. In the end, the land data is plotted as lace meshes, so the works reference both the history of Calais’ traditional lace border industry, as well as its current political borders. Old France, new France.
In this instance, lace becomes a fabric of desire and longing, but also references the grids of the white fences installed around the ‘Jungle’ campgrounds. What you need to know—and why I mapped this place—is that as a camp, Calais is largely informal. It’s a place where people arrive from different directions, in small groups or alone; they’re mostly imperceptible on the land as they move. It is only when they converge at a final point, before dispersing again, that they leave a physical memory on the land. Paths, hiding holes, food stalls, mosques, a container library—all the necessities that suddenly leave a trace on the land.
With the data paper works, I’ve also made a series of terrazzo casts preserving the objects trampled into the ground in the evacuation of the camp. Beautiful at a distance, yet only on closer inspection do they reveal their contents to be SIM cards, shotgun shells, tent poles, shoes, toothbrushes and kiosk tiles. All this I preserved as terrazzo—mainly because it’s an indoor and outdoor architectural material, drawing reference to the nature of the public domesticity of life within the camp – Miso.
Borders (The Magnetic Fields) is on show at China Heights gallery from May 25 – June 13, 2018. Get there.