Elisa Ganivet, Esthétique du mur géopolitique now published with Les Presses de l’Université du Québec. Elisa sent an English synopsis (the French can be found on the book’s site).
Through the eyes of a hundred artists: an historical and contemporary journey along the Border Wall Aesthetics
Years after the fall of the Berlin Wall, at a time of globalization and free trade, some fifty walls are still in existence in the world, especially around the territory of Israel and the border of Mexico and the United States, where a barrier runs for approximately 500 km. If the justifications set out by states are multiple – illegal immigration, terrorism, smuggling, etc. – the erection of a separation barrier seems once again to embrace the age-old formula of rejection of the other-foreigner and transgresses the principle of universality. Its archaic materiality conflicts with the image of a post-modern and technological world, the wall crystallizes a malaise which must be elucidated by art. Its visibility and sensationalism essentially become an advertisement for a geopolitical event which artists choose to engage with.
If the wall is circumstantially ephemeral, what interests the artists? Is it its metamorphoses or its spatio-temporal framework? The author of this book compares three walls – the Berlin Wall, the separation barrier between Israel and the Palestinian Authority and the secure border between Mexico and the United States – according to their aesthetic developed by three leading artists: Joseph Beuys, Banksy and Frida Kahlo. The study of context, alongside geopolitical stakes and objectives with regard to each separation barrier, accounts for the faults and the failures of an a priori well-oiled system. Because if the wall generally refers to the idea of being at home and being protected, it can also mean isolation, whether intentional or not. It is the physical and symbolic structure of the prison dynamic.