Built around the theme of “crossings”, those that hamper and those that bind, this edition gathers 10 portfolios and shines a light on the same number of photography books to help us towards a better understanding of a question that is at the heart of current events.
In November 2019 Europe celebrates the 30-year anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall, an event that in its time symbolized hope, a sign of a new freedom for all nations. And yet today, there is an ever-increasing number of walls dividing us. In 1989 there were 11 such walls in the world; there are now 65, of which more than a dozen have sprung up since 2010. Since 1991, 26,000 kilometres of new international borders have been created, and these ideological ramparts now span 40,000 kilometres overall.
From the very beginning of photographic history, explorer-photographers have sought to demonstrate that national and geographic borders are always pushed further. Inevitably, photographers were intrigued by these lines of separation: borders are material and emblematic outlines that question photographers and challenge their ability to portray, explain and deconstruct physical, judicial and dogmatic separations.
For this 10th edition of The Eyes, we have chosen to address the issue of the space these limits occupy in a world that is animated by both the need and the temptation to cross. Here, photographers show the multitude of cuts, divisions and separations by using documentary image-making, cartography and more symbolic perspectives. Political demonstrations, social degradation and attacks on freedom of movement all confront us with the pernicious and often devastating effects of divisions. Others invite us to look beyond the acceleration of the movement towards separation, and to consider the notion of border as an opportunity to bring together: how can photography then be considered as a meeting ground?
Délio Jasse, Seba Kurtis, Ursula Schulz-Dornburg, Dornith Doherty, Tanya Habjouqa, Jim Goldberg, Salvatore Vitale, Hassan Hajjaj, Patrick Tournebœuf and Michal Iwanowski… A multitude of points of view that speak of systems of domination and conflicts of interest, as well as circulation, openness and attempts at togetherness.
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