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Nothing to Declare - 4th Triennale of Contemporary Art Oberschwaben (International Exhibition)

Lookup NU author(s): Neil Bromwich


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For Nothing to Declare - 4th Triennale of Contemporary Art Oberschwaben Walker & Bromwich exhibited two interrelated sculptural artworks one in the Zeppelin Museum, Friedrichshafen, Germany and the second in Künstlerhaus Thurn and Taxis in Bregenz, Austria. The exhibition had a curatorial focus on the activities of border-crossing, migration and issues of identity formation both internationally and more broadly around the Lake Constance region.The work consisted of Friendly Frontier 2 is a 5 meter long inflatable mountain range with emergency slides. This was installed in Bregenz for the duration of the exhibition, while its larger 17 meter counterpart Friendly Frontier 1 became the focus for a unique performance Meditation for Peace in The Zeppelin Musuem to launch the Triennale. The live performance was specially commissioned a collaboration with Tibetan Buddhist monks from the Tashi Rabten order in Feldkirch, Austria. The monks lead a meditational prayer for peace with music and chanting in front the sculpture creating a pause for audience to think about the idea of peace and open borders. The artists created an interesting dynamic through the seperation of the works in two counties and temporal nature of the live event. The themes of man-made borders, separation and crossing were further explored through the collaboration with the monks of the Tashi Rabten Order who had been displacement from their homeland and had set up a new home within the Austrian Alps. The Artists and Curator met with the Monks in there monastery in Feldkirch several time to discuss and develop the work as collaboration before the event. This event happened during a crucial time where Buddhist Monks in Burma had been persecuted by the authorises for leading protests against the government. ‘Friendly Frontier offers the fantastical realisation of reconciliation through art as a sort of ‘short-circuit’: if art is often used to promote good relations between nations and cultures, as a metaphorical ‘crossing of boundaries’, why not an artwork that itself is a physical realisation of the crossing of boundaries? But this confusion of the literal and the metaphorical becomes a broader comment on what we expect art to be able to transform. Friendly Frontier turns the artistic metaphor of crossing boundaries into a physical act to be performed as a symbolic gesture. What is important in this regard is how close the work is to being something with real, functional purpose; that Friendly Frontier appears as an absurdist fantasy is, one might argue, only because it has never been used as a real political tool.’ JJ Charlesworth MONOGRAPH: Walker & Bromwich; Publisher John Hansard Gallery, published 2008

Publication metadata

Artist(s): Bromwich N; Walker Z

Publication type: Exhibition

Publication status: Published

Year: 2008

Number of Pieces: 2

Venue: Zeppelin Museum, Germany; Künstlerhaus Thurn and Taxis, Austria

Location: Friedrichshafen, Germany; Bregenz, Austria

Source Publication Date: 04 April - 22 July 2008

Media of Output: Sculpture, Video, Live Events, Inflatable Structures


Notes: Citations Nothing to Declare 4. Triennale zeitgenossischer Kunst Oberschwaben, Germany, (p88-89, 112) Published 2008, ISBN 978-3-940748-27-0 MONOGRAPH: 'Walker & Bromwich'; 128 pages; Published By John Hansard Gallery, Essays JJ Charlesworth, Sally O’Reilly, ISBN 9780854328642 'PANACEA: Pinsky, Walker & Bromwich'; 128 pages Published By John Hansard Gallery; Essays JJ Charlesworth, Michael Stanley, Evelyne Toussaint, ISBN 9780854328628