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BORDER IN FLUX...

Date: October 13, 2011  Region: Sherbrooke


Border in flux...The Community Art Lab of the Foreman Art Gallery – Bishop’s University, will be on hand to welcome the public to the Uplands Cultural and Heritage Center (9 Speid Street) on October 13, at 6 p.m., for a discussion on local border-lines. Created as a public discussion and artist talk, this event is meant to questions notions of boundaries, geography and space in the local region. Invited artist Althea Thauberger will introduce her artistic practice and articulate her interest and involvement in the summer 2012 residency project entitled Stanstead Project or how to cross the border.

This off-site event combines an interest in our relationship with history, art and culture to assess the impact of border policies. Also being explored will be the potential role art could have toward governmental decisions. The public is invited to share their own experiences on the border in order to augment the research of the artists for this residency project. This discussion group is open to all those who are interested in history, borders and culture. The main discussion will take place in English but questions posed in French will also be welcomed.

The recent exhibition (at the Foreman Art Gallery), under the same theme – Stanstead Project or how to cross the border, presented art with a little different twist, referring to the Canada-US border that exists in the town of Stanstead where recent events have transformed the ordinary lives of citizens who, for generations, have crossed the border on a daily basis, with very few restrictions. Seen as a reflection around the notion of borders, but also on migration, this project will bring together artists whose work defines an interest in the world in which we are evolving.

The first part of the overall project, a prelude to the particular case of Stanstead and Derby Line, approached the general question of the world’s boundaries and the nature of the territories they encompass. Selected works dealt with notions of space, territory, border lines, history, culture, and geography: Andreas Rutkauskas (Montreal) drew from the surroundings of Stanstead to produce photographs, video, and travel logs; ‘Green Border’, which Christian Philipp Müller (Switzerland and New York) presented at the Biennial of Venice in 1993, deals in part with Austria’s historical boundaries, and his more recent ‘Burning Love’ explores the cloth-weaving traditions of a mountain community; Ursula Biemann’s ‘Performing the Border’ and ‘Europlex’ examine the legitimacy of the borders that neo-capitalism creates between rich nations and poor ones, between men and women (artist from Zurich, Switzerland).

Since the 19th century, several emblematic sites in Stanstead share a close relationship with its neighbor Derby Line, Vermont such as the Haskell Opera House and the Haskell Free Library, which quite literally are located on both sides of the border. Through this off-site exhibition project, local sites will be invested by artists. For example, Raphaëlle de Groot (Montreal and Italy) and Althea Thauberger (Vancouver) will work directly with groups of citizens in their intervention work. Christian Philipp Müller will present a site-specific installation that will forge links between the history of this Town and recent events.

The second part of the exhibition, to be presented in the summer 2012 will take place in the heart of the Stanstead community with works by Raphaëlle de Groot, Christian Philipp Müller, and Althea Thauberger.

The intention of the guest curator, at the Foreman Gallery, Geneviève Chevalier, in inviting these three artists to work on site in Stanstead is for them to develop relationships with members of the community through their art projects and to enable them to work from this framework to provide the context for Stanstead citizens to assess and find a way to express the impact of these repressive policies.  Müller, de Groot and Thauberger all work in a site specific manner and each is interested in architectural artifacts.

For more info on this project, contact 819.822.9600 poste 2279 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


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