Thursday, 9 February 2023

Textile Details

'Da capo al fine', by Mara Loytved-Hardegg. (Photo: Mara Loytved-Hardegg)
'Da capo al fine', by Mara Loytved-Hardegg. (Photo: Mara Loytved-Hardegg)


Title of Textile:Da capo al fine
Maker: Mara Loytved-Hardegg
Country of Origin: Germany
Year Produced: 2009
Size (cm): 210cm x 150cm
Materials: Mixed media
Type of Textile: Mixed media installation

This wall hanging was made in instalments in 1991, 2003 and 2009.

The sheet comes from an Italian family of agricultural labourers. Mara found it by chance in the empty little home she rented in Tuscany in the late 1980s. The man of the house had been a ´Mezzadro` (half tenant), which means that the family was dependent on the ´Padrone` (landowner).

Behind the house she found the helmet of a German soldier from the Second World War. The helmet was fastened to a wooden stick with steel-wire, probably for use to empty the latrine. In this part of Tuscany, the German soldiers treated the civilian population very brutally during their retreat at the war’s end.

The sheet seemed to tell a story about the pain and the poverty of everyday life and also about the violence of social and political circumstances. In 1991 as the first USA invasion into Iraq took place, the artist started to work on the sheet and embroidered the words ´ da capo al fine`. The lines on the fabric had reminded her of the lines of a musical score, so she embroidered the musical direction ‘da capo al fine` on it. The phrase means ‘back to the beginning and finish at the word FINE’. For Mara, it expresses the repetitive episodes of life and death, of suppression and violence, of war and peace.

Later in 2003, she embroidered onto it some traces of a lying figure. She also covered the helmet with fango (mud) from a hot spring not far from the house.

In 2009 she added in embroidery the lines of a poem by Erich Fried:

“ father was the war, peace is my beloved son, and he already resembles my father.”

Owner: Mara Loytved-Hardegg
Location: Berlin, Germany
Original / Replica: Original
Photographer: Mara Loytved-Hardegg

Textile exhibited at: The Human Cost of War - An Exhibition of Quilts and Arpilleras, 4/11/2010 - 15/01/2011

Textile Detail Image(s)