Benjamin June’s current project memorializes the seven thousand (and counting) victims of suicide attacks in Iraq. June’s medium is a small black pillow embroidered with the instrument of death—cars, explosive vests and so on—along with hash marks to count the number murdered. Each pillow marks one week, so if a particular week was excessively bloody, June adds frilly lace fringes. More deaths get more lace, and the little black pillows line the walls of a room, almost as if a padded cell (frivolous death is insanity). Individually, though, the stitched pillows are more grandmotherly than gruesome. They could very well be from the Victorian era, in which mourning methods were homespun, precious and safe. These handmade commemoratives are perhaps all that one can hold on to in the throes of a huge, faceless war abroad. (Jason Foumberg)
Through August 22 at Flatfile Galleries, 217 N. Carpenter, (312)491-1190.