• FEB 16 to APR 07
    Solo Exhibition
    Elian Somers - Border Theories


    • Solo Exhibition

    Dates and Opening hours

    FEB 16 to APR 07, 2013

    Vernissage: Saturday 16 February, 5 - 7 p.m.

    Event Location

    Stedelijk Musuem Bureau Amsterdam

    Rozenstraat 59

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    The ongoing work 'Border Theories' is about enclaves with double histories. It investigates the Soviet Purpose and political efforts to create a virtual past by means of architecture and urban planning. National histories and virtual histories intermingle in the project.
    'Border Theories' is about the way these (virtual) histories have been generally perceived over years, the role of collective 'belief' in this context, and the way truths have been made.

    Kaliningrad, Sakhalin and Birobidzhan are all Russian enclaves with double interpretations of history; respectively, one of German, Japanese and Jewish history, and one of (virtual) Soviet history.
    Situated near USSR frontiers, these enclaves have passed through hard times of territorial issues over years and have been listed as closed border zones in order to develop military strategies. In the far corners of the Soviet Union these areas have been settled and resettled again by (forced) pioneers.
    Seen as testing grounds for experimentation where plans and visions are endlessly projected, where futures are tried out and truths made, these geographically isolated (and closed) areas appear until today as places extremely susceptible to the utopian imagination.

    After taken over by the Russians in WOII, Prussian Königsberg becomes Soviet Kaliningrad, and the ‘colony’ and Japanese island Karafuto becomes Soviet Sakhalin. Birobidzhan has already been started as a Stalin Soviet Experiment in the 1930’s as the new Socialist Jewish Homeland. In the 1950’s Kaliningrad, Sakhalin and Birobidzhan are all emptied out of German, Japanese and -ironically- Jewish residents and are filled up again by the Soviet pioneer.
    From this moment on, numerous Soviet concepts are projected on the former German, Japanese and Jewish grounds and the areas become subject of new plans, thoughts and experiments.

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