11 / 2023

paper, wood, acrylic

For eleven years archival documents filled up the shelves of an STD center where the artist worked as a psychologist. By law, only after this period of time, documents can be destroyed. Using a paper shredder, this process of destroying took months, and sometimes, during a hectic shift, became a way of peaceful distraction. Trash bags started to fill up with destroyed unreadable material: years of old lab results, referrals, anonymous letters of experiencing stigma and discrimination of people living with HIV, applications and rejection letters for education and awareness of the public about sexual health, and now it had a chance to become something permanent. Submerged in warm water, and mixed with salt and flour, the paper mass was rolled out back into a standardized A4 format and stacked on one another just as they were on the shelves. This sensitive history was now paper-mâchéd, compressed, and placed into a form in front of the viewer at his eye level. You cannot objectively discern anything that is written but only guess what has been obliterated. Everything is in front of you, but also, nothing. You can only see the whiteness of the form but can definitely feel its weight.

photo / Vedran Husremović