Ode to Joy

City:Vienna, Austria / Melilla, Spain
Measures:Hand-knitted plaid, 150 x 190 cm,
44 posters, 30 x 45 cm each
Media:Cashmere-wool, Paper

Joy, bright spark of divinity,
Daughter of Elysium,
Fire-inspired we tread
Thy sanctuary.
Thy magic power re-unites
All that custom has divided,
All men become brothers
Under the sway of thy gentle wings.

Whoever has created
An abiding friendship,
Or has won
A true and loving wife,
All who can call at least one soul theirs,
Join in our song of praise;
But any who cannot must creep tearfully
Away from our circle.

Ludwig van Beethoven's 9th Symphony contains Friedrich Schiller's libretto, a composition later adopted by the European Union as the anthem of Europe. This lyric captures the essence of Europe's self-definition and its attitude toward uninvited guests. Infused with deep pathos, it vividly articulates the classical vision of a society based on equality, bound together by the threads of joy and friendship.

Hand-knitted by Tanja Boukal, a white lace cloth made from the finest cashmere serves as a canvas for the libretto of the European anthem, enclosed within panels of barbed wire. This symbolic textile bears witness to the artist's explorations around Melilla, where, on both sides of the border, she captured images of migrants draped in this opulent shawl, embodying the lofty ideals of Europe.