Jérôme Poggi has invited the curator Sasha Pevak to conceive a two-part show, presented at FIAC and at the gallery. 'The Border is a State of Mind' is a reflection on borders and their symbolic meanings, in the context of rising nationalisms and new geopolitical conflicts.
“A world without borders” – isn’t it the last unrealized utopia of the 20th century? Since the 1980s, the Western consciousness sought to abandon national frontiers. Yet, are borders really a remnant of the past when, today, thousands of people stay stranded at the doorstep of Europe, the President of the United States strives to toughen the immigration laws, while a struggle for zones of influence provoke new hybrid wars and the revision of long-established borders? With the recent rise of nationalist movements, certain politicians and media constantly put forth statements about erecting new walls as promises of a safer and more prosperous future. While the flow of capital knows no territorial limitations, frontiers continue to selectively filter human flow and are given new symbolic meanings. They become “a scrim on which can be projected an anthropomorphized other as the cause of national woes ranging from dilutions of ethnicized national identity to drug use, crime, and declining real wages” (Wendy Brown, Walled States, 2010). Instruments of colonization, borders represent a symbol of violence endured by the colonized nations throughout History; such geometrical cuts and stitches on the body of the planet, they bear witness to past and current conflicts. The reappropriation of borders by those who have been for so long alienated from their lands, might thus reflect their aspiration to decide at last their destiny for themselves. An element of power and of sovereignty, the frontier remains one of the tangible expressions of the psychological desire of a State.