Adapting by Transgressing

Textile diptych & artistic fabulation, 2021

Adapting by Transgressing is a textile diptych, featuring two flags (blankets) of similar size, composed of quilting and embroidery techniques. Their positioning in relation to one another and the space prompts a choreographic engagement from the viewer — an invitation to traverse between and around — engaging with textiles and textual narratives. The text consists of two observations, both essentially addressing subversive survival strategies as a means to contend with but also exposing restrictive social norms:

There is not much to say really, except perhaps that life has been an intricate venture of innumerable adaptations of the self to the urgencies of conformably presumed normality.

I’ve survived by adapting. I’ve adapted by appropriating.

Now, I create my own mythologies.

The work appropriates and adapts the original Progressive Pride Flag, as designed by Daniel Quasar in 2017. Knezović ruptures and disconnects the original design by cutting, ripping and back-stitching second-hand clothing, donated by queer, neurodivergent individuals. This adapted flag, in comparison to the original, possesses a much less coherent, much more haptic visual vocabulary. The flags’ hand-made, tactile materiality reveals fragility, tensions and the trace of bodily intervention.

Driven by concern for mental health care within queer communities, Knezović’s gesturing dismantles the identificational politics of banner culture and indicates the precarity of communal strategies towards sustainable mental health prospects.