borders project

"Borders Project"_________________
is a complex long-term project by Bernardo Giorgi, linked to a new type of experiment on the concept of border.
It all started with the project "German - Polish frontier: changes after the maximum of the last glaciation", Borders '99 - realized during my residence at the International Studio Program, Künstlerhaus Bethanien, Berlin Germany.
This first phase of "Borders Project" consisted in a journey along the Oder-Neisse river, the "natural" frontier between Germany and Poland; during the course of this travel, the experiences and opinions of the people living in this frontier zone were collected, as video-recorded interviews, photos, as well as notes and drawings, and published in real time on the web site

In its original form, "Borders Project" already included in nuce a succession of single projects -journeys inside the Journey; a sort of "chain of experiences", shaped and enhanced one by the previous one:
Switzerland "The Value of Genoa's port for Switzerland's economy", linguistic frontiers in Switzerland, 2000-2003;
Czech Republic-Germany "Between Dresden and Prague", 2001-2002;
"Helmets Project" 2001- in progress;
Poland-Italy, "Patterns", Kostrzyn (PL), Turin- Milan (I), 2004-2005;
Poland-Germany-Italy, "Borders of Eden", Frankfurt Oder (D) - Slubice (PL) - Venice (I) (in collaboration with Cinzia Cozzi), 2004-2006;
trans-siberian train, from moscow to beijing 2005
Mongolia, "Songlines in the sheep's way"

Travelling is an ancient and, at the same time, a constantly evolving practice, consolidated in every culture around the world.
In Borders are merged the historical and personal dimensions that have always denoted the concept of journey, ultimately symbolized by the spirit of the Grand Tour, the famous intellectual and spiritual formation journey European men used to embark upon.

However, "The last two decades of the XX century were witness to a rising crisis of the journey seen as an individual path in the pursuit of personal knowledge.
The advent of mass tourism and the ever-growing movement of goods and people caused, as a consequence, what many anthropologists call "the death of exoticism".
For artists working on the notion of travel, and who see their own travels as performance, rises the need, not being able to rely anymore upon simple acts of perception, to find alternative complex and sophisticated techniques of inquiry, observation, monitoring…" (Michele Dantini in a private discussion with Bernardo Giorgi)

Borders is a characteristically transversal project, encompassing an individual and collective spatial/temporal dimension - an exploration of the border seen as a mapping of territories/identities and an exercise in developing relationships.

"The main connotation of the project Borders is, primarily, trying to return, once more, to the planning role of artists and to experiment the fluidity of roles and languages: artist, curator, critic, interpreter, intellectual" (Michele Dantini in a private discussion with Bernardo Giorgi)
It is therefore significant that the project has its main fulcrum "in-between" cities, with a sort of decentralization of the places-roles: it is precisely in that "in-between" that the correct interpretation key is to be found, the clue to the loss of the nucleus, as well as of the alteration of roles. It is the idea of transit, of a continuous passage, uninterrupted and reversible at anytime that occurs along the "border", of a fluid and continuous osmosis, a flux of information and circumstances always open to exchange, devolution and transformation into an "open space" - experimental set - delimited by a border-zipper.

"Is it possible, today, to speak of border's poetics? Maybe, if we understand this to be the experimentation and exchange of languages and roles, and as part of the poetics of mobility. The word border has to be understood not only in a geographical sense, but in a linguistic sense as well. The skin is border for the human body; the house (with which many artists are working today) for man's living space." (Laura Cherubini, private conversation with Bernardo Giorgi during the round table about Between Dresden and Prague)

The instruments become thus extremely important: the construction of the network-real work with an actual visual outcome, as is visible from the geographical maps: in the Dresden-Prague project, for example, more than 25 artist and more than 40 institutions participated.
Just as the realization of the maps-patterns - lines and connections, which, beyond the superficial chaotic appearance, are actual representations of real cartographies of identities: the bottom of the tent used for Dresden-Prague, the map of the conflicts exhibited at Palazzo delle Papesse in Siena in occasion of the G8 protests in Genoa, the "patterns" in Kostrzyn-Turin-Milan.