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Staatsgrenze 1981-1983

Text: Seiichi Furuya

 

…… Perhaps it is a coincidence that Seiichi Furuya decided to both exhibit his work “Staatsgrenze / Border” and revise it for publication as an artist’s book in 2014. Against the backdrop of the outbreak of the First World War following the assassination in Sarajevo 100 years ago, the outbreak of the Second World War with the invasion of Poland 75 years ago, and the dismantling of the border facilities between Austria and Hungary 25 years ago, which directly led to the opening of the Iron Curtain—today, now more than ever, “Staatsgrenze / Border” invites us to read it with the fragile post-war regimes between 1918 and 1945 in mind, and in consideration of the related borderline and territorial issues that still today have political impact. The Yugoslavian wars that broke out in 1991, not long after the fall of the Berlin Wall, bear witness to this, which is what Furuya had in mind when speaking of the “eye of the typhoon” in his second epilogue on Staatsgrenze / Border”. It is especially against this background that Furuya’s strategy of adding one new image to each already existing photograph in the series seems to resemble the discovery of a second flash drive: one picture confirms the other, at times opening new perspectives and horizons. Yet the question remains as to how long it will be possible to rediscover such drives, what they will show us, and whether they can help to realise utopias. In Furuya’s “Staatsgrenze / Border”, the—ironically refracted—vision of border dissolution resonates when we read that “such borders … will only lose their importance when common defense against an extraterrestrial enemy is called for.”  The fact that we are far from reaching this point and that borders are far from being dissolved but have at best been shifted, despite appearing obsolete in the face of the European unification process, is made clear even today in 2014 with a glance at a newspaper and the ongoing debate about European refugee policy. ……

 

© Maren Lübbke-Tidow, 2014

An excerpt from a text „Staatsgrenze/Border“, Camera Austria, #125, 2014, Graz


Full text in Englich: Staatsgrenze/Border*

Camera Austria, #125, 2014*



 


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