Beyond Boundaries: Artistic inquiries into borders and their meaning(s)

Day: Saturday 7 April


Mey-Yen Moriuchi
(La Salle University)
Lesley Shipley (Randolph College)

Session Abstract

Borders have played a critical role in the development and distribution of culture, often acting as frameworks that help or hinder our ability to ‘look outwards’. In The Location of Culture, Homi Bhabha calls attention to the value of interstitial spaces, where borders, frames, and other locations ‘in-between’ become ‘innovative sites of collaboration and contestation in the act of defining the idea of society itself’. Other philosophical considerations of borders, such as Martin Heidegger’s concept of gestell, or enframing, Jacques Derrida’s deconstruction of Enlightenment aesthetics vis-à-vis the parergon, and Victor Stoichita’s analysis of framing devices in early modern  ‘meta-painting’, have demonstrated the transformative power of edges, frames, borders, and boundaries in art.

This session focuses on works of art, artistic practices, and art historical perspectives that think critically and creatively about borders and their meaning(s). The goal is to expand our understanding of borders, whether physical or conceptual, historical or theoretical. In the spirit of pushing beyond boundaries of convention and ‘looking outwards’, this session will examine a variety of mediums, art historical periods, and/or curatorial practices. Papers address art that explores the significance of borders to migrants, immigrants, diasporic communities or other groups residing (both literally and figuratively) ‘in-between’; activist art that interrogates borders and their meaning(s); the role of public art, public space, and social media in thinking beyond boundaries; the metaphorical and/or literal framing of a work of art and its effects; the symbolic purpose or meaning of frames in various cultural contexts

Speakers and Papers

Shifting Boundaries

Mickey Abel (University of North Texas) Fluid Boundaries: A phenomenological approach to ‘entry’ as a mutable spatial praxis

Catherine Holochwost (La Salle University) Body and Disorder at the Margins of Antebellum American Art

Louise Siddons (Oklahoma State University) Seeing the Four Sacred Mountains: Navajo sovereignty in the photography of Laura Gilpin

Borders of Culture and Identity

Theresa Avila (California State University Channel Islands) Revisions of Colonial Constructs: Maps of the New World and the cartoons of Eric Garcia

Pauline Gan (Independent Scholar) Of Pirates, Dragons and Boogeymen: The fluid borders of Yee I-Lann’s Sulu stories

Rebecca Dubay (Kansas City Art Institute) Negotiating Contested Terrain: Zarina Hashmi, Mona Hatoum, and Emily Jacir

(De)Constructing Walls

Gerald Silk (Tyler School of Art, Temple University) Christo and Jeanne Claude’s Wall of Oil Barrels – The Iron Curtain: Boundaries, borders, barriers, and binaries

Chelsea Haines (City University of New York) Naftali Bezem Inside and Outside the Green Line

Sari Patnaik (Ohio State University) Borderline Crazy: Humour, celebration, and radicality in contemporary art Geo-Political Borders

George Flaherty (University of Texas at Austin) Commons from Borders: Teddy Cruz’s adaptable environments today
and tomorrow

Sarah Bassnett (The University of Western Ontario) Richard Mosse’s Thermal Imaging and the Political Economy of the Refugee Crisis

Menno Hubregtse (University of Victoria) Airport Artworks and International Borders: Place, security, and mobility

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