Dara McGrath | EDGELANDS
Posted on Dezember 11, 2011 by Julia Schiller
The deserted rural spaces of the East European national borderlands are spaces in flux.
Now devoid of border controls, they are in the process of being decommissioned and abandoned. No longer strategic points on a map, but neither fully blank spaces, they are spaces-in-between, and are difficult arenas to absorb and comprehend.
This shifting of recent political positions, after centuries of European conflict, to one of a willingness to engage in dialogue and mutual interest and enlightenment coincided with the internal migratory shifts of people out of social and economic necessity.
In late 2007, this process was further realised, when the countries of Eastern Europe became fully members of the E.U. through the Schengen Treaty (1993).
These borderlands, located on the edges of national terrorities and found in the rural landscape now reveal themselves as lonely half-way places, impotent of their one time political and social significance.
Since 2008 I have been documenting these ambiguous and once contentious spaces.
My images strive to look for the connection between the physical borders and society’s borders: borders that are in many ways ingrained within our built environment of separation and isolation.
The images also ask the question: what happens to a space and its structures when its purpose is no longer needed?
Biography Dara McGrath
“My photographs explore transitional spaces, places where architecture, landscape and the built environment often intersect, and where a dialogue – of absence rather than presence – is created. The photoworks are realised both with the gallery space and as site-specific installations and interventions.”
De Grens, Palais des Beaux-Arts Brussels 2011,Field Work Black Box Gallery Portland Oregon 2011, Convergence, Siemens Arts Space, Beijing 2011The Market Estate Project, London 2010,What Lies Beneath: Nature &Urban Landscape in the E.U. Fotoweek DC Washington 2009, CUBE Open Manchester 2009.The Lives of Spaces, Irish Pavilion, 11th Architecture Biennale Venice 2008, European Night, Rencontres d’Arles, (France) 2008.