International Biennial of Contemporary Art Ljubljana,
23 June - 24 September 2000
News Archive
Micro Talks
Cankarjev Dom
M1 & M2

Invisible and fetid borders


Arevik Arevshatyan

The problem of the indispensability of borders has developed parallel with the general development of civilisation. Considering borders as reminders of their own wild essence, the civilised human tries to demolish, or it would be better to say to ignore their presence (Berlin Wall).
The analysis of that phenomenon perhaps should be looked at not just through one's conscious but through an instinctive angle as well.
Through the ages civilisation had been creating different kinds of borders – fences, fortifications, kilometres long walls, barbed wire fences, and even human walls. Those constructions indeed could be considered as real art creations. Yet, visually they effect a frightful feeling. But overcoming (be it real or hypothetical) of those borders effects another strange feeling of danger mixed with an exalted sense of freedom.
Every wild species use its urine or excrement to demarcate their territory in nature. And those fetid borders become unbreakable for any other species. Than inside that margined species' territory the strongest survives, according to the cruel but just rules of natural selection; but people perceive that process as an indication of an absolute freedom. Perhaps that is why the scene of the animals enclosed in the ZOO cages induces our sympathy.
What transformations are happening in the human mentality? In what direction is it developing – forth or back? Being a part of that humanity I personally experience myself that strange state, anxiously turning back and forth splitting at the same time inside between human and animal essences, between conscious and instinct.
The very same humanity that had divided the world with the borders and now is trying visually to demolish them at the same time creates new "natural" and "fetid" kind of borders. And there are no expectations any more to find achievements, victories or terra novas beyond those borders. Beyond them there is just a different species with which there is just one thing left to do – to identify with it loosing at the same time your own. Natural selection will immediately become the continuation of that course (humanity indeed has achieved a great skill of species raising and breeding).
There are no more obstacles any more; there is no more need to climb over the wall or get hurt by the barbed wire. There is just a need for a few steps – to change the species and to smell the way it is ought to. Otherwise... Otherwise it won't be possible (even having civilly filled documents) to be akin to that species and the state seals will always emit the stench of the borders.

PS. This newly developed "species categorising" selection method that has come to change the old method of ideological, ethical, racial or religious classification, creates a hidden syndrome of worthies and the unworthy ones, the righteous and the wicked, the progressives and the retrogrades, the confident ones and the inferiors.

Address: Manifesta 3, Cankarjev Dom, Prešernova 10, SI - 1000 Ljubljana. Slovenia
phone: (+386 61) 1767143, 210956 fax: (+386 61) 217431 e-mail: