The Barbed Wire Identification Encyclopedia (2009) is a project that attempts to understand the history of the barbed wire and the role it has played in the occupation and control of both land and human and non-human animals. The project includes a total of 657 graphite drawings, where 600 drawings depict different kinds of barbed wire. The drawings of barbed wire are combined with drawings of its usage, from the industrialisation of the barbed wire around the 1870s until today, showing people climbing over, working with, kept behind or using barbed wire as a weapon.
The starting point of this project was a trip to London and the surprising amount of barbed wire in use within the city’s architecture and the reading of a book by Razac Olivier, Barbed Wire: A Political History, in which Olivier points out that barbed wire not only creates physical but also mental limits. With barbed wire, you not only lock the other one out, but also yourself in.
The entire work includes 32 frames in the size of 145×95 cm and needs circa 38 meters of wall to be shown. It can, however, easily be split into several different parts.