The Liberty Cap is an interdisciplinary research art project which explores a migration of design, social meaning, and psycho-geographical belonging of so-called Phrygian Cap.
This cap, which has a distinctive design and intriguing cultural history, is becoming a personification of Liberty during the French revolution, as well a symbol for emancipated slaves during the Antiquity, and is associated with the Cult of Mithras.
It is also connected with regional identity of various Ancient people from Asia Minor (Phrygians), Balkans (Thracians, Dacians), and the The Pontic-Caspian cultures (Scythians, Sarmatians, Saka).
In Bosnia and Herzegovina the cap is the last time documented as a part of traditional women's costume in the Srebrenica county and published in the Gazette of the National Museum in Bosnia and Herzegovina in early 1894.
Coming back to the present time of an increased surveillance and security doctrine which are inevitably in a direct conflict with the expression of liberty, I am interested to rethink the Phrygian Cap as a visual symbol of liberty and track back its simulacrum history. The questions of identity, belonging, stigmatisation, migrations, gender connection will be addressed and examined. The form of the cap also has intriguing resemblance with the Liberty Cap (Psilocybe semilanceata), a species of fungus which produces the psychoactive compounds and was widely consumed in antiquity during the spiritual rituals.
Mladen Bundalo – 2022 – CC-BY-NC-SA