Curatorial Statement

Borders are physical or social lines that separate communities and demarcate areas of inclusion and exclusion. They dictate our access to space and experience, erecting walls between here and there, us and them. The presence of a border inherently holds the potential/temptation of crossing over into another territory or realm of possibility. We can describe a border by its impermeability/porousness, whether it is acknowledged or unquestioned, by raising the questions of where, when and for whom it exists.

To border simultaneously means to draw a limit around something, and to press up against another entity. It designates edges, shows where change is possible. Although they often appear to be absolute, borders only exist in as much as they are challenged and performed/enacted. Borders cause anxiety when they are contested or antagonistic, when the divisions they establish cut us off from one another and from our own potential.

This exhibition showcases the results of a workshop that invited participants to meditate on the ways that bordering is performed and re-inscribed within and around the Mersin-Akdeniz region. Groups of artists engaged in social research to investigate pressing questions for residents of Akdeniz. After working with key informants to gain a deeper understanding of these critical issues, workshop participants created artistic interpretations of how the area's anxious borders can be redrawn, overcome, or be brought into discussion in the public sphere. The pieces in the exhibition enter into dialogue with these topics from optimistic, dystopian, and documentary perspectives. By incorporating cross-disciplinarity into artistic practice, the works on display are the result of their creators' own exploration outside of their own professional boundaries.