Spellerberg Projects, Masur Gallery
119 W San Antonio St, Lockhart TX
Oct 20, 2018, 8pm
Statement by curators Noor Ale and Claudia Mattos:
All is well on the border presents a collection of video works that contend with life on the margins. The program takes its name from the same-titled 1997 Akram Zaatari documentary, which offers for wide viewing the testimonies of three prisoners held in detention centers during the Israeli occupation of South Lebanon. These gathered works align histories, accounts and experiences surrounding immigration, exile, statelessness, and the precarity of moving across sovereign borders, as well as the fringes of social and cultural boundaries. These liminal zones have come to increasing prominence on the back of refugee crises stemming from Afghanistan, Somalia and Syria, and activist platforms that have granted greater visibility to those in the periphery. And as the Internet and its digital effects have staked greater claims in the lives of people globally; and facilitated communication and the bridging of experiences beyond arbitrary boundaries; borders, too, have grown increasingly irrelevant in our highly interconnected and global communities.
In these times of heightened national security, mass globalization, civic unrest and the rise of nationalist movements throughout the West, borders are both foregrounded and swept aside; highly policed or easily crossed; and used to reinforce geopolitical agendas and causes. All it well on the border is in many ways a case study of border states across diverse cross-sections of global society, offering a nuanced picture of the myriad lines that divide our world.
Akram Zaatari, All Is Well On the Border, 1997, 43:00
A critique of the political slogans which usually dominate the image of the shrit, or the occupied frontal zone in South Lebanon.
Mieke Bal and Shahram Entekhabi, Lost In Space, 2015, 17:00
The film about homelessness and displacement tears apart the different manifestations of language.
Guillermo Gomez-Pena, Declaration of Poetic Disobedience, 2005, 15:15
“In November of 2003 I began to write this text. It was my clumsy attempt at finding a post-9/11 pice and place in another map — an imaginary one drafted by me.” (G G-P)
Mona Hatoum, Measures of Distance, 1998, 15:25
This early work is concerned with the artist’s separation from her Palestinian family and, in particular, her relationship with her mother whose letters from Beirut are read aloud as the soundtrack to the tape.
Julia Meltzer and David Thorne, Not a matter of if but when…, 2007, 17:40
Developed with Rami Farah in 2005-06 in Damacus, when momentous events reverberated throughout Syria giving rise to widespread anxiety and anticipation around the potential for imminent change, regime change, internal reform, internal collapse, civil war and the increased power of fundamentalist Islam.