[Bever, Switzerland]: 2010. Artist's book, one of 13 copies only, all on Epson Archival Matte paper, signed by the artist, Viola Kaeumlen and numbered on the colophon. Page size: 8-1/16 x 5-11/16 inches; 54pp. Bound by the artist: white cloth over boards printed in red with title and author on spine and front panel. Each copy of this limited edition is housed in a hand-stitched tan cloth copy of old Red Cross Aid Bag with copy of World War II Red Cross hand-stitched on front made by the students of the "Ufficina" in Samedan, Switzerland - an institution that provides work for handicapped people. The Red Cross Aid Bag is laid into a stainless steel box with lid 9-7/8 x 7-1/4 inches with the Red Cross emblem outlined in double broken brown line, title and author printed in outlined letters on each of the long sides.
The artist's statement / colophon reveals that the artist / author, on finding her grandfather's pocket watch which had been returned to her grandmother after his death in World War I was moved to honor the Red Cross. Her grandfather's watch, with the face damaged, the hands missing, eerily symbolized the destructive power of war. The International Red Cross had returned the watch, reassuring the owner's widow that her husband's remains had been taken care of in a humane way amid the turmoil of war. On a more immediate note, the International Red Cross had been instrumental in helping the artist's husband leave conflict-torn Angola. Ms. Kaumlen visited the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Museum in Geneva, taking photographs which are here combined with her own writings as well as religious and historical texts. The artist collaged the photographs, texts, her grandfather's watch and other elements and printed all digitally, using Ambulance Shotgun as font for quotations and texts and Helvetica fonts for introduction and colophon. This is a moving homage to the International Red Cross with stunning images. Item #10398