Holding a hedgehog with your bare hands
The project originates from taking a closer look into the Belarusian post-war satirical magazine ‘The Hedgehog’ («Вожык»). During World War II it was called ‘Defeat the fascist beast’. One illustration of that time shows a soviet soldier handing a pencil to the Hedgehog, clearly associating the pencil with a weapon. I was intrigued by those transformations, a soldier to a hedgehog, a human to an animal, a machinegun to a pencil, and, to take it further, a pencil to a needle.
The Russian equivalent to the expression ‘to keep a tight rein on something’ directly translates into English as ‘to hold something in hedgehog-gloves’. Obviously, it only means that these gloves are so thick one can catch a hedgehog and not get hurt, but as a kid I always assumed those really were some very pointy, hedgehog-y gloves. It seems that needles and pinning could be great tools for coping with one’s inability to grasp the bigger picture: use them to pin as many clues, pieces and fragments as one can carry.
Holding a hedgehog with your bare hands is like trying to hold history: it is not easy to catch, it might hurt, but it is fascinating and it is worth a try. UH
Uladzimir Hramovich (b. 1989) is resident at KEX studio in March, 2019. He is an artist based in Minsk, Belarus, whose work explores the development and influence of ideology and social transformation on matter, via lithography, historical documents and the city’s infrastructure. Among other venues he has exhibited at «Ў» Gallery of Contemporary Art in Minsk and the 5th Odessa Biennial.