Susanne Slavick is an artist, curator and the Andrew W. Mellon Professor of Art at Carnegie Mellon University where she served as Head of the School of Art from 2000-06.
Susanne Slavick: The THREADBARE series embeds the muck and mire of realities on the ground in patterns from remnants of Seljuk and Safavid carpets, Coptic textiles, Ottoman and Cairene prayer rugs and other artifacts in disrepair from once flourishing cultures now under attack. Intricate designs are painted with earth-colored slurries over layers of wet glue, fashioning “magic carpets” that dry as cracked surfaces. These disintegrating vehicles of fantasy and instantaneous gratification float above unfurling clouds and skies.
According to the UN Refugee Agency, in 2016, there were 21.3 million refugees and 10 million stateless people. Nearly 5000 died crossing the Mediterranean Sea. Magic carpets are imaginary vehicles of flight. In this series, they fray and fail despite hopes for rescue and restarting lives on stable, solid ground.
Title: THREADBARE II. Date: 2015. Format/ Materials: Oil, acrylic, dry pigment and glue on panel. Size: 56 x 48 inches. Credit. Artist.