Over the Border

Symposium:


Session Title:

  • Border Reckonings, Border Crossings 1

Presentation Title:

  • Over the Border

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Abstract:

  • The lower part of the Korean peninsula is virtually an island. The upper one is also an isolated island in another way for half a century. The border, namely the NATIONAL border between the two Koreas, is the place where a non-Korean can visit whenever, unlike a Korean who needs to apply and wait for 60days. Time kindly spares the time as lesser and lesser people take the trouble to do so. People know that the border is there and it is enough for them. The physical border is getting not just older but more obstinate. On the other hand, the perceived border is getting more and more ambiguous or rather unperceived.

    This is why this paper notes Masaki Fujihata’s Field-Works collaborations, especially the [Field-Work@Alsace] in 2002 and [Landing Home in Geneva] in 2005. He crossed the national border in Alsace casually interviewing people. In the final image, the official national border line is displayed with the personal and real borders consist of the memories of the interviews at each spot of his route. This work changes the perception of the physical, political, geographical borders drawing more meaningful lines across them. In Geneva, he explored the borders of languages and culture interviewing human borders supposed to be invisible, the interpreters, typically recording with panoramic lens which breaks down the distinction between cameraman and the pictured.

    Although it is not feasible for the artist armed with a video camera and GPS to walk in the inter-Koreas-land charged with numerous mines, probes to find other ways to challenge it should never be given up. By manipulating new media, an artwork can change the way the world perceived. This paper explores these possibilities challenging visible and invisible borders by making them perceived in a different way.

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