Elin Kard

“Tip of the Day”, 2006

oil, canvas; 9 paintings a´30 x 42 cm

The series of paintings named Tip of the Day was first exhibited in the Tallinn Art Hall exhibition Violence & Propaganda in 2006. The series consists of nine paintings, the texts of which were based on what was being said in the media.  Its core lies in the Guantanamo (Gitmo) prison camp, which was not subject to the Geneva Convention (III) concerning the rights and general human rights of ‘prisoners of war’ before July 2006. Focusing on three key elements – a gun, Casio watches and olive green – which should serve as the terrorists’ ‘field-marks’. The author raises questions concerning the background and reasons of placing people in prison camps. The series of paintings has been acquired in return for everlasting free entrance to EKKM exhibitions, even though Elin Kard is a member of the board of EKKM  and all exhibitions at EKKM are free.

Elin Kard: ‘At that time I read a lot of different materials from the foreign press about the Guantanamo (Gitmo) prison camp which at that time still operated. In my recollection various people who ended up in Gitmo were asked when, where, and on what grounds they were arrested. The staff was asked what the so called ‘external features’ are, which help to recognize terrorists. The required elements or elements that could be misleading were: possession of a gun, the Casio F-91W wristwatch and the use of olive green in clothing’.

Media: ‘In Tip of the Day, Elin Kard grabbed phrases she picked up in the media and presented them as a series of giant tip of the day cards. They read in part: ‘How can I be welcome in Gitmo / Somewhere in the middle of the land without Geneva Convention / Where access means no access and / where I can study new rules of war’. The bare simplicity of the words taken out of their normal contexts in newspapers and placed in black and white on the cards helps reveal the sinister aspects of America’s prison. Tip of the Day robs you of any chance to make excuses for robbing people of their rights.’ The Baltic Times 03.05.2006