Idle hands are
the devil's playthings
The practices of creating and decorating elements of costume (all the way to voluntary joining the sewing workshops described in Zone 2) are used to maintain the illusion of being busy (as happened, for example, in camps for prisoners of war, concentration camps and prisons), for expression of creativity, and sometimes radical rebelliousness, for maintaining self-imposed ascesis, for reaching penitence, or as a magic/occult practice. A sheet from a 34-page album with never-repeating sketches of "all the torments of Hell" here sits next to identical felt angels stuffed with bones, that were created and distributed for decades by their creator as useless and scary talismans, and meticulously crafted "pandoras", meant to provide their creators with places in tailor workshops, sit next to portrait dolls and voodoo dolls.
Idle hands are the devil's playthings
Embroidery "Idle Hands Are Idle Hands"
Embroidery piece paraphrasing an English proverb "Idle hands are the Devil's plaything" placed by a 12-year old child on the chest of his mother as he strangled her. The mother brought it to the workshop as a proof that she can embroider herself and that she'd taught her son to do so as well.
Canvas, embroidery floss, handcrafted embroidery
Two Pandoras
Two objects organized according to the example of Pandora dolls of the XVIII century when tailors sent their potential customers little dolls and dresses made for them to demonstrate their skill and possibly secure some future orders. Pandoras exhibited here are made in the M1 sector independently by two damned souls who were tailors (for a time this practice was common and widespread) – both were hoping to get a chance for a place in the Far eastern workshops. The first Pandora demonstrated certain craftsmanship, but a fairly predictable approach to style and cut, while the second one offered to the customer some roughly crafted dresses, executed with great inventive powers.
Recycled dolls, altered ready-made dresses for them, boxing
Angel wardens
Polymer clay angels with chicken bones in transparent bellies: they are obstinately made by one of the damned who begs bones from those who died while eating, and then gives the fruits of his labors to those who, in his opinion, are in particular need of them. His gifts are not welcome: the whole angel theme is met with a degree of squeamishness in Hell.
Polymer clay, seed beads, plastic, felt, metal, bones, mixed technique.
Voodoo dolls and portrait doll
Two dolls on the left are made in Hell by a tailor who makes clothes for "demons" in the Far third workshop; both of them (like the third one mentioned below) are shaped in the position characteristic for "demons" with bent knees, arched back and stuck out buttocks. The first doll is property of the tailor himself and serves, apparently, as something like a voodoo doll: the tailor sticks pins in it, fixing scraps of fabric that he works with at his workshop. The second doll is made by the same tailor at the request of a colleague, who dressed it in a deconstructed striped male suit, where the left flap of the jacket is a wrap that allows the casted arm of the "demon" to move freely (nothing ever heals in Hell; here it is important to remember that initially "demons" are the same "damned" who since "demonified" and started tormenting others). The cast on the doll is made of papier-mâché, it is broken, and two red push pins are stuck into the "injured" arm of the "demon". However, the third doll is different: it seems to be a portrait doll of a "demon" (it had a face painted on it, but later it was painted over – apparently out of fear), made by an unknown damned soul and used to magically appease or simply to express love: around it are arranged precious offerings that the owner of the doll obtained or had made by his orders – an obsidian arrowhead, a magnet with an image of New York, a pineapple sticker, a dried plum, et cetera. It is worth paying attention to the elements directly connected to costume: aside from the fetishistic attire of the doll itself, among the offerings there are an agate necklace, a set of pearls, a Murano glass bracelet and a mesh dress with lace elements.
Mixed technique
A sheet from the album "All Torments of Hell"
Sheet 28 of 34 sheets of the album entitled "All Torments of Hell" and filled with small drawings depicting what apparently are everyday events connected to dwelling in the M1 sector.
Paper, colored pencils, drawing ink.
Since only the items that touched the body of the person at the moment of death get to Hell, their value for the owner skyrockets. This is a reliquary made in Hell with a clip for a pioneer tie inserted (1930s).
Detail of a doll, plastic, clip for a pioneer tie, children's craft supplies
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