Post-Frontier

  • Location Venice, Italy
  • Client 14th International Architecture Biennale
  • Year 2014
  • Program Cultural
  • Curator Rem Koolhaas
  • Authors Giacomo Cantoni
    Pietro Pagliaro
  • Team Petra Di Bert
    Jacopo Lamura
    Francesca Pagliaro
    Ignacio Servetto
    Caterina Spadoni
    Cecilia Tramontano
    and
    Martina Barcelloni Corte
    Midori Hasuike
    Niku Alex Mucaj
    Elian Stefa
  • Collaborators Sound Installation: Zabbara (Alessandro Librio, Alessio Genovese)
    Photo Editing: Zona (Giulia Tornari)
    Photographer: Francesco Anselmi, Lorenzo Meloni, Alessandro Penso, Giulio Piscitelli, Gianfranco Tripodo

Post – Frontier wishes to investigate the condition of the southern borders of Europe, analyzing part of the political, regulatory and territorial ambiguities that persist throughout its territories and that are particularly accentuated when they relate to the Mediterranean Sea.

Contemporary surveillance systems tangibly effect the slender relations between confined and excluded territories, emphasizing the contradictions in the places where the distances between the one and the other increase or diminish.

The massive effort to organize and systematize these devices generates a dystopian framework in which each element, maintaining its political and morphological identity, is casted and delocalized, envisioning the border pattern of the rising European nation state.

Today Italy represents the main southern gate to access the European union.

Since 1948, member states’ policies have brought to the gradual abolition of borders between them, eventually creating a vast and growing territory of free circulation for goods and people.
The identity of this territory is marked by a single common border line, resulted by the sum of each segment of sovereignity bound to every single state, which is de facto assume full responsibility for its control and management.

All the physical and political borders of Italian territory overlooking the Mediterranean Sea are just a portion of a more extended and complex European external border.

Inspired by this paradox, Post-Frontier research project aims to analyze the geographical, political and social scenarios that compose the framework of the current European border, trying to express the complexity of each element and of the system that contains them.

This complexity is reproduced in a plaster model, which strives to be a physical expression of a unitary and dystopian vision of the contemporary European frontier. The locations that compose the physical collage of different border devices are cast from specific territories that, in different ways, testify the transit of people, goods and information.
In the effort of putting together different elements, mantaining their political and geografical identity (orientation and m a.s.l.), in one single entity, it emerges the necessity of a unique global system that could manage consistently such a diverse shared border.

The physical representation has a soundscape background composed of samples of ambience sounds taken from many of the territories identified and described by the model. Among others, it is possible to hear undisclosed recordings of noises and voices recorded in the CIE (Centre for Identification and Expulsion) of Trapani – Milo: a unique testimony within one of the most advanced detention facilities for irregular migrants in Europe.

The institutional point view on the topic of surveillance of border territories is explained through a video interview with Frontex, the ‘European Agency for the Management of Operational Cooperation at the External Borders of the Member States of the European Union, which for 10 years has monitored the outer boundaries of the European union. Frontex, founded by the decree of the Council of Europe 2007/2004, seeks to establish a single integrated control system, collecting data, and promoting the cooperation of the individual border police of any European state on the outer perimeter of the Schengen area.

Ultimately, six photos from professional photojoirnalist, that provide daily documents from the farest frontier territories, are presented in opposition to the legislative and burocratic overview described by Frontex. This visual reports, deprived of the news articles that usually accompanies the images, show the consequences and the tangible impact behind the many and often incompatible surveillance and exclusion policies adopted by the European union.