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Pink M.24 Chaffee A tank wrapped in pink
"A combat tank which was used in World War II was the setting for this work of art. As a protest against the Danish (USA´s, UK´s) involvement in the war in Iraq the tank was covered from the canon to the caterpillar tracks with knitted and crocheted squares made with pink yarn The 15 x 15 cm squares in pink yarn/thread, were knitted by many people from many European countries and USA. The process of covering the tank was documented with a video and this video is shown in ”Nikolaj, Copenhagen Contemporary Art Center“ (Copenhagen, Denmark) as part of the exhibition “TIME” from April 27 - June 4, 2006.
The pink covering consists of more than a 4000 pink squares- 15 x 15 centimetres – knitted by volunteers from Denmark, the UK , USA and several other countries. People were invited through Cast Off Knitting Club, from friend to friend either by word of mouth or over the internet, and by a number of knitting groups made for this specific project, or other already existing knitting groups.. The physical and personal acknowledgement in all of these knitted patches are, when joined together, a powerful visualization of thoughtfulness. The main impression of the knitted tank is that it consists of hundreds of patches knitted by many different people in different ways: single colored, stripes with bows or hearts, loosely knitted, closely knitted, various knitted patterns, ….. They represent a common acknowledgement of a resistance to the war in Iraq.
Between the 7th – 11th April, 2006, the tank was placed in front of the Nikolaj Contemporary Art Center in the heart of Copenhagen. There were 4-5 permanent volunteers sewing the squares together to cover the tank and many of the people that passed by also helped sew and crochet the pieces together.
The possibility of “knitting your opinions” gives the project an aspect that I think is important. The common element in the project gives importance beyond words. Most people can knit or crochet a square of 15x15 centimeters, and most people have some pink yarn to spare, and a lot of people are willing to use the time it takes to knit a patch that size and to support the project with the money it costs to mail the patch. I am thankful that people of many age groups, both sexes and several nationalities have been willing to use their time to support the project and I am hopeful.
Unsimilar to a war, knitting signals home, care, closeness and time for reflection. Ever since Denmark became involved in the war in Iraq I have made different variations of pink tanks, and I intend to keep doing that, until the war ends. For me, the tank is a symbol of stepping over other people’s borders. When it is covered in pink, it becomes completely unarmed and it loses it’s authority. Pink becomes a contrast in both material and color when combined with the tank