Special panel on:
The aesthetics of border demarcation, from border landscape to border artscapes
Session spéciale sur :
L’esthétique des inscriptions frontalières, paysage et art à la frontière
Within the XIth BRIT (Border Regions in transition) conference
« Frontières mobiles » / « Mobile borders »
6-9 septembre 2011 à Genève (Suisse) et Grenoble (France)
Colloque co-organisé par PACTE, l’UJF et l’Université de Genève
Proposals should be sent before March 15th
Contact: Anne-Laure Amilhat Szary, firstname.lastname@example.org
The idea of working on the aesthetics of border demarcation is based on the report that a growing number of artistic projects are located on borderlands. Some are referenced and analyzed, and it seems that a geopolitical focus is emerging (Fox 1999; Berelowitz 2006; Iglesias Prieto 2007). We believe that the closing up of borders and the fencing process that is under way re-activates cultural production, and have witnessed it on the USA / Mexico border but also on the barrier between Israel and the Palestinian territories. This challenges the significance of international limits and questions the social status of art production (Amilhat Szary 2011).
Traditional studies on the relationship between artists and space would focus on landscape analysis. Border landscapes used to be scrutinized to determine the conditions of environmental bifurcations that follow the political separation (Rumley and Minghi 1991), and stress was often put on land use differentiation imposed by the border. But it can also be evidenced that the multiplicity of exchanges in the borderlands tend to lead to some cultural sharing (such as the architectural rapprochements built on the hybridization of traditional and post-modern elements in the cities of the USA / Mexico border (Arreola and Curtis 1994; Herzog 1999). Although acknowledging that landscape results from power because it « together imposes and represents a visual order » (Zukin 1991; Mitchell 1994), I suggest that border landscapes analysis should be renewed by taking into account the recent rise of border art, leading to the qualification of artscapes.
Borders can of course constitute good settings (they have been very many times given a cinematographic existence (Torrans 2002; Malagamba 2003; Dell’Agnese 2005). But what we offer to do here is to go beyond an analysis that considers the border as the context of the imaginary creation, to try and understand why the boundary allows the opening up of the creative field, contributing to an aesthetic renewal, by answering the following questions:
- What is border art?
- How and where is border art displayed?
- What are the contents of border art?
- What is the impact of border art?
- Amilhat Szary, A.-L. (2011). « Border art and the politics of art display. » Journal of Borderlands Studies forthcoming.
- Arreola, D. D. and J. R. Curtis (1994). The Mexican Border Cities: Landscape Anatomy and Place Personality, University of Arizona Press.
- Berelowitz, J.-A. (2006). « Marcos Ramirez Erre: Border Art ‘From This Side’. » Journal of Borderlands Studies 21(2): 45-58.
- Dell’Agnese, E. (2005). « The US-Mexico Border in North-American Movies: a Political Geography perspective. » Geopolitics 10.
- Fox, C. F. (1999). The fence and the River. Culture and Politics at the U.S. – Mexico Border. Minneapolis, University of Minnesota Press.
- Herzog, L. A. (1999). From Aztec to High tech : architecture and landscape to the Mexico-United States border. Baltimore (Md.) &London, Johns Hopkins University press.
- Iglesias Prieto, N. (2007). « Le mur à la frontière entre le Mexique et les États-Unis : flux, contrôle et créativité de l’esthétique géopolitique. » Outreterre(1): 123-141.
- Malagamba, A. (2003). Una visión del arte fronterizo. El poder del lugar y las geografías recordadas. Por las fronteras del Norte : una aproximación cultural a la frontera México-Estados Unidos. J. M. Valenzuela Arce. México, Fondo de Cultura Económica : Consejo Nacional para la Cultura y las Letras: 364-392.
- Mitchell, W. J. T., Ed. (1994). Landscape and Power. London, University of Chicago Press.
- Rumley, D. and J. Minghi, Eds. (1991). The Geography of Border Landscapes. London, Routledge.
- Rogoff, I. (2001). Terra Infirma – Geography’s Visual Culture Routledge London and New York, Routledge.
- Torrans, T. (2002). The magic curtain : the Mexican-American border in fiction, film, and song. Fort Worth, Texas Christian University Press.
- Zukin, S. (1991). Landscapes of Power : from Detroit to Disney World. Berkeley.