Adrian Pepe (Costa Rica / Lebanon)


In this carpet series, the filamentous biomass of anonymous sheep is gathered, cleansed, combed, spun, and knotted. The fibers depict the silhouette of a sheep's body, a portrait of its own matter.

Sheep, revered in regional material and craft cultures, hold a central role in the human narrative. Their significance transcends into ritualistic practices within Abrahamic religions. Regionally, the sheep act as a liminal channel connecting with the divine through sacrificial acts, involving spillage of the liquid of life. Reflecting on this connection, the artist reflects on the notion of order with disorder by releasing red ochre onto the woven images of the sheep, an act reminiscent of shepherds marking their flock with said pigment. Both the act of sacrifice and the branding of the animal with red ochre have a parallel gestural motion, a spillage symbolizing both a beginning and an end. The work provides a lens through which we can examine the meanings embedded in the concepts of subject and object, life and death, self and other.

This work aims to awaken a primal, dormant instinct, offering a tangible understanding of bodies in nature, as the face finds solace against the fibers of this woven portrait. It is crucial to acknowledge the intricate entanglement of our existence as living beings with other agents. In doing so, new ways of navigating the complexities of our relationships with animals and each other arise. Such reflections transcend our interconnected present and make up a crucial facet of our future.

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