Void hosts an exhibition about our ‘borders’

Join Void, Derry for a range of events as part of Opened Ground which runs from this Saturday to March 30.

Wednesday, 6th February 2019, 1:00 pm
Updated Monday, 18th February 2019, 10:08 am

The title Opened Ground is taken from a collection of poems by Seamus Heaney; written between 1966 and 1996. The poems span a turbulent time in Northern Ireland and delve into the physical and psychic landscape.

With the approaching deadline of Brexit, and the lack of clarity on how the border will manifest, join Void for the exhibition of work by Willie Doherty, Amar Kanwar and Aslan Gaisumov which examines the complex issue of borders within the context of contemporary art.

The presence of the border is part of the complex narrative of Northern Ireland creating divisions and divides. Since the Good Friday Peace Agreement in 1998 the infrastructures of the military checkpoints have been decommissioned and have become part of the past.

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With the approaching deadline of Brexit, and the lack of clarity on how the border between Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland will manifest, it gives rise to the tension of the possibility of the re-emergence of a ‘hard border’.

Willie Doherty’s early photographic work from the 80’s and 90’s is a powerful reminder of how borders, primarily a political agenda, dislocates culture and the shape of people’s identities and histories. The photographs document how history can mark a terrain and how memory is marked in the landscape.

Amar Kanwar’s piece A Season Outside (1997) explores the demarcation line between India and Pakistan. The film narrated by the artist reveals the anxiety that surrounds the militarised border between India and Pakistan.

Aslan Gaisumov’s piece People of No Consequence (2016) explores the effect of displacement of Chechens from what was known as the Soviet Union to Central Asia in 1944. The people gathered in the work represent the collective memory and narrative of the effects of territorial shifts.

Here, the border currently exists as an imaginary line; a change in texture of road surfaces, a representation of an historical point within our history. The unknown outcome of our political situation turns our attention once more to the border.

There will be a Preview by Eamonn McCann on Saturday from 6.30 to 8.30pm.