Border Cultures: Part Three (security, surveillance)
January 31 – May 10, 2015
Bambitchell (Canada), Yto Barrada (Morocco / France), Patrick Beaulieu (Canada), Rebecca Belmore (Canada), Mahwish Chishty (Pakistan / USA), Harun Farocki (Germany), Chitra Ganesh and Mariam Ghani (Afghanistan / India / USA), Tory James and Alex McKay (Canada), Shelagh Keeley (Canada), Osman Khan (USA), Evan Lee (Canada), Victoria Lomasko (Russia), Dylan Miner (Métis), Trevor Paglen (USA), Camal Pirbhai and Camille Turner (Canada), Tazeen Qayyum (Canada / Pakistan), Jose Séoane (Canada / Cuba), Charles Stankievech (Canada), Hito Steyerl (Germany), Syrus Marcus Ware (Canada / USA), Tintin Wulia (Australia / Bali)
Three years ago, the AGW launched Border Cultures, a series of exhibitions which deepen our understanding of what is means to be a border city in the 21st century. Located in the southernmost part of Canada across the river from the USA, Windsor is an important site for the arrival and departure for Indigenous, settler and migrant communities. Crisscrossing the geographic and national boundaries for generations in search of freedom, land, work and security, the collective memory, (oral) histories and cultures on these lands are at once deeply interwoven and splintered along colonial, racial and economic lines.
This three-part exhibition was conceptualized as a research platform, bringing together regional, national and international artists to examine the complex and shifting notions of national boundaries. With Border Cultures: Part One (homes, land) (2013), ten artists explored ideas of home, exile, citizenship and nationhood in our globalized world. As capital flows more easily than people to meet the demands of our consumer-based societies, questions of mobility across borders guided Border Cultures: Part Two (work, labour) in 2014. Fifteen artists examined the in-between space of the borderlands, where free-flowing capital and the uneasy movements of the stratified work force encounter one another.
In the final iteration of this series, Border Cultures: Part Three (security, surveillance) examines the impact of heightened militarization along national boundaries that has intensified deportations, detentions and mechanisms of surveillance of migrants and foreigners. The culture of fear accelerated the latent colonial hierarchies across North America with missing Aboriginal women in Canada and incarceration of black men in America, urging us to reconsider questions of security and citizenship. Moving back and forth between these internal and external boundaries, Part Three proposes the border as a site of struggle between personal subjectivities and systems of power. Artists are the key agents here as their work moves from the symbolic and materiality of the border to a psychological and intimate space of despair, hope and desire.
The Border Cultures exhibition series has been presented with the generous support of the TD Bank Group.
Curated by Srimoyee Mitra