BR 2022-23 art box and microsite
BR 2022-23: art box, edition of 50 featuring Ben Weir, Rimma Arslanov, Taro Masushio, Kitty Maria van Ekeren, Kenneth Moreno Kiernan, Els Huver, Jan-Luka Schmitz, Elisa Verkoelen, Frauke Berg, Luciana Arditto, Alicia Kremser and Amauta García & David Camargo
The Borderland Residencies 2022 concluded in a special project: an art box that features multiples from all 12 artists. Every artists contributed 50 multiples that were exclusivly created for the project. The art boxes were gifted to the artists themselves as well as the participating residencies and partners and will be exhibited at different places and events throughout the EuRegion (more details to be announced). For all those who did not get a copy, can explore a digital version of the art box here: artbox22-23.borderland-residencies.eu
Our thanks go to Morphoria Design Collective for the design of the box as well as to PrintStage Düsseldorf for the screenprint.
About the project
At the beginning of 2022, the Russian attack on Ukraine shook the foundations of democracy in Europe. The disregard for state sovereignty, the killing of civilians, the destruction of landscapes and cultural assets - suddenly everything seemed different when the previously unthinkable rupture of civilisation occurred in the middle of Europe. And yet life went on, in Ukraine and in the rest of Europe. A dilemma we learned to live with.
While the war in Ukraine, despite its global impact, still seemed abstract and distant, another catastrophe was looming in the middle of the Euregion, right on our doorstep: The clearing of the village of Lützerath in the Rhenish lignite mining area caused a rift in our society, between generations, between climate activists, deniers and pragmatists. While the protest camp of the climate activists grew over the years into a place of peaceful protest, hierarchy-free society, creativity and mutual care, this "real utopia" was cleared and destroyed in spring 2023. And even those who express solidarity with the climate movement in words are always confronted in their daily lives with the environmental impact of their own lifestyles. And we learned to live with that dilemma, too.
The events of 2022 also left their mark on BORDERLAND RESIDENCIES. Field trips and excursions led to places that are exemplary for the dilemmas of our time. Encounters and conversations made the residents question again and again what role artists play in a time of threatened democracy, freedom and ecological livelihoods. There is no blanket answer to this question - just as there is no purely individual, collective or political responsibility. But the participants of the BORDERLAND RESIDENCIES are no longer resigned to the unresolved situation. They choose a different path: to address the big issues of our time again and again. They observe and analyse the as-is states: how we live in urban and rural areas, how we work or why we leave our home countries. Then they look for the reasons for the circumstances of the present - and use their art to make proposals for a constructive, common path towards a sustainable future. The dilemma is not the end of the road.
While the first round of BORDERLAND RESIDENCIES in autumn 2021 was still a sigh of relief and a new beginning after the Corona Shutdown and aimed to bring the art scene of the European neighbours closer together, the 2022 residency period came across as much more serious. But the network proved that good things can grow even in times of threat and change. In the core period from the beginning of September to the end of November 2022, twelve international artists in residence met in the Euregion. This international group, whose members came not only from Germany and the Netherlands but also from Northern Ireland, Argentina, Mexico, the USA, Japan, Uzbekistan and Israel, found their very own ways of dealing with the present in discussions, but also in individual confrontations. They invited people to a sound performance next to open-cast mining pits, discovered old printing techniques in the forgotten treasure caves of destroyed places, transferred architecture into utilitarian objects, searched for myths of water in thoroughly industrialised sewage systems, accompanied inventories and processes of "disposing" and found everyday absurdities on supermarket shelves.
This art box is more than a mere documentation or retrospective of the residencies. It is the symbol of the BORDERLAND RESIDENCIES: a collection of individual positions that enter into dialogue with each other and reflect the multifaceted richness of the euregional art space. Just like the BORDERLAND RESIDENCIES programme, it aims to set artists and art in motion. With an edition of 50 copies, it moves through the Euregion together with the artists, curators and the friends of the BORDERLAND programme. As a "travelling edition" it entices people to spontaneous "pop-up" shows, to exhibitions in museums, galleries, studios - and, if they so like, in their own living rooms. As ambassador of the BORDERLAND RESIDENCIES, it travels way beyond the borders of the Euregion, further into Europe and around the globe.
Each of the 50 art boxes is unique. They are all a counter-design to the challenges and dilemmas of our time. Together they invite you to respect borders and yet overcome boundaries: Hand in hand, together among friends, as a community of BORDERLAND RESIDENCIES.