Project of a Boundary was conceived as production system for site specific exhibitions by five Chilean artists; they state a coherent body of site specific works and art texts, based on the concept of border as limit and juncture.
16 x 8 mt
MAC Valdivia, Chile, 1999
- The Backyard (Passage)
Mosquito nets, non woven fabric and black pigment
40 x 2,50 x 5,12 mt
Fuller Museum of Arts, USA, 2002
- The Backyard (Edge)
0,50 cm x 15,35 mt
Fuller Museum of Arts, USA, 2002
- The Backyard (Path)
20 plastic bags and water
29 cm x 50 mt
Fuller Museum of Arts, USA, 2002
- The backyard (Cavern)
3,00 x 3,30 x 6,30 mt
Latincollector, USA, 2002
Reflective tape on 10 pieces of non woven fabric
and 10 light tubes; reflective drawing and video projection
Artspace, Australia, 2005
The Breath of Space (extract)
Denise Markonish, 2002
Think for a moment of your own breathing, of the rhythmic rise and fall of your chest, the subtle sound of the pulse in your ears. Think of the way in which light moves across a room, flickering in and out of the shadows. Think of how a breeze barely ruffles your clothes. An awakening of the senses. Breath, rhythm, light and air give shape to the installations of Project of a Boundary: Recent Art from Chile. The artists, Paz Carvajal, Mónica Bengoa, Claudia Missana, Alejandra Munizaga and Ximena Zomosa awaken us to our own senses with their ephemeral environments. The works are imbued with a quiet existence, activating the neutral space of the gallery, living and breathing, as we enter and circulate within their system. The notion of a circulatory system is one that filters through and connects them together, both in their individual subject matters, as well as in each project’s relation to the physical and psychic space it occupies. But ultimately, it is the viewer who makes the final connection.
Project of a Boundary presents the work of five artists from Chile, exhibiting for the first time collectively in the United States. Representing a generation of re-invention, Carvajal, Bengoa, Missana, Munizaga and Zomosa deal with the shifting political and artistic boundaries evident in their modern day homeland. They are part of a younger generation of cultural ambassadors who have transcended their own borders to create a more global vision of contemporary art. For this exhibition, they have developed a series of site-specific projects that invoke a politics of the domestic and the formation of identity beyond stereotype. Each installation draws from the vital experiences and motivations of every day life. Materials, images and recollections of home and place, convey an underlying sense of the feminine. They speak about loss, trace, intimacy and the subtlety of spaces that breathe.
... Missana’s work explores the notion of architecture and how we leave our trace in the spaces we inhabit. In the past, she has produced what she calls “graphic interventions” in abandoned houses, the Chilean landscape and the gallery. Her interventions involve singling out existing architectural elements or geometric grids, as a pattern. Missana then follows this pattern and carefully covers the floor with thin layers of powered pigment. The color works its way into cracks and fissures, revealing the invisible beneath our feet. With her work, The Backyard (Passage), Missana hangs mosquito nets on the walls, perpendicular to black pigment rectangles on the floor. These ghostly nets refer to doorways or beds that hold imperceptible bodies within them. In the woods outside of the museum she generates a second work, titled The Backyard (Path). This intervention consists of a line of plastic bags filled with water, perhaps indicating the path followed by these bodies.
Project of a Boundary, Portable Affairs (extract)
Jacqueline Millner, 2005
Claudia Missana's installation continues the metaphor of the line and the reference to the pixel. Borderline comprises of ten translucent white banners suspended from the ceiling on which has been inscribed the outline of a map in small squares of reflective tape that resemble pixels. As the banners sway with the ambient movement, the tape catches the light from the flouro tubes below, and the line flares as if electrified, as if the space is crackling with lightning.
Missana's preoccupation is with articulating space. She aims to give voice to those silent spaces that we overlook and neglect, and to remind us of the manner in which our very presence will necessarily change the meaning of any space. In previous installations, she has worked with ephemeral and perishable materials, such as powdered paint pigment and water-filled plastic bags, placed in disused public or private places. In a manner that recalls the poetic installations of Felix Gonzales Torres, the artwork is corroded and gradually effaced (even inhaled or blown away) by the viewer, but in the process, the viewer is brought to an acute awareness of his/her own phenomenological existence. The material elements disappear or are eventually removed, leaving little or no trace - the faintest of footprints, in the spirit of travelling light. Rather, what is critical is the exchange, or the negotiation of the boundary, between viewer and space.
In keeping with this approach, in Borderline Missana has used materials that subtly interact with their environment and the viewer. The banners are made from the non-woven fabric used to line and filter clothes: it is absorptive, and over time changes colour as it traps the dust and motes around it. The reflective tape comes alive with ambient light and the movement of passing viewers. This interactive element is crucial to the work; it underlines the contingency of the border the banners depict. The permanence and impenetrability of political and geographical borders, as the artist states, are not only ultimately illusory, but often have brutal consequences. As boundaries are policed, only those who are judged legitimate may remain within, while those who threaten the integrity of the border are expelled, excluded or exterminated. Missana thus evokes the recent political history of both Chile and Australia, drawing a line along the coast of each and from one coast to the other.
Reference to the violence Chile experienced under the junta is made explicit in the video component of the installation, where Missana has coupled the aural testimony of crimes and abuses with images of the coastline she has represented in abstract on the banners. Benign geography, malignant history? Or is each implicit in the other?