4 You Series by Maja Maljevic
Text by Roxy Kaczmarek and Kim-Lee Loggenberg 2020
In early 2020 a series of unique works from Maljević’s recent print series (Document for the People. and Winter Files) were reviewed with the intent of creating editioned variations of such. The printers at David Krut Workshop (DKW) dissected and then reconstructed elements of the unique works selected. This is the story of how the series evolved and were finally created with the artist in a time of Covid.
The Covid-19 crisis was looming as the project began its life. The process of printing and preparing the parts in the flow of Maljević’s intricate process of edition making had begun when news broke of the first infection of Covid-19 in South Africa. It would only be a matter of weeks before South Africa would find itself in total lockdown for 21 days or, little did we know at the time, much longer.
In order to keep the project’s momentum going, The DKW team – no strangers to problem solving – needed to devise a plan to prepare each layer of each print days ahead of the lockdown. Luckily most of the base layers for the prints had been printed along with some other elements, such as monotype, linocut, softground and etching on chine. Maljević needed to decide how she would incorporate the prepared printed layers – what shapes she wanted and where.
Simple enough, except with limited printing capabilities at the printer’s homes they would need to have all the printed components ready to cut and assemble to complete the editions. In the days leading up to lockdown (four days, to be precise) the printers ferried almost finished prints between Maljević and the workshop. In the studio, printed layers were being created for the finishing touches, existing printed chine layers were adhered to backings, pieces of chine were being glued, colours were mixed and printed, various pieces of coloured chine were hunted down and packed, all while the country was preparing for the inevitable lockdown. At home, in addition to creating her images, Maljević was also drawing film positives to be exposed and printed by Roxy Kaczmarek in her home studio for adding final silkscreened layers to finished prints. Phew!
On the last day in the workshop printers Kim-Lee Loggenberg, Sbongiseni Khulu and Roxy Kaczmarek each took home one of the ready-to-be-editioned prints and their parts to be assembled during the lockdown. As the country wide lockdown measures relaxed, the prints were able to rejoin the outside world.
Maljević’s editions have been assembled by hand and are ready for their post-lockdown debut. Proof that art can be made anytime and from anywhere, under any circumstance.
“My collaboration with the David Krut Workshop started years ago as an experiment with a new medium that challenged the comfort of my routine. Fast paced and constant communication with the team propelled me to explore new and different techniques leading to surprises and unexpected works.” – Maljević 2020
Continue reading for more information about the unique series Document for the People and Winter Files.
In 2018 Maja Maljevic collaborated with the David Krut Workshop to create a series of unique prints titled Document for the People. This series of 61 completely unique works used multiple techniques including silkscreen, etching, drypoint, monotype, collage and hand drawn layers. The success of this series encouraged Maljević to return to the studio in 2019 to work on a second series of works on paper called Winter Files.