#2 - WALLS - geopolitical interpretation

02 Aug

The first geopolitical concept that I’d like to deepen - before considering its different artistic interpretations - is that of WALL, closely related to that of BORDER, but from this one ontologically distinct, with the related ethical, political and legal consequences.

The wall is at once the material and tangible manifestation of the border and its negation, the former being impassable while the latter, on the contrary, can be crossed. The wall introduces into space the element of rigidity, fixity, untraversability and therefore of exclusion. To erect a wall means, in fact, to produce a dialectic inside - outside, inclusion-exclusion, identity - alterity and to introduce in the territory a relation of power, a differentiation of spaces. From this point of view, the wall can be considered as a "political artifact", that is, the instrument of a political sovereignty that uses it with an intimidating logic to exhibit, spectacularize and make constantly visible and immediately intelligible the denial of the recognition of the other. To govern, therefore, becomes the exercise of one state's power over a mass in motion.

One of the great inconsistencies of the postmodern era has been highlighted by what has been said, namely the opposition between a constant contemporary tension to a global, fluid and virtual space and the search for the closure of one's own spaces dictated by fear and the consequent growing demand for security and therefore control. Furthermore, the deterritorialized mobility of capital is opposed today by a hierarchy in the circulation of bodies (...the MIGRATORY FLOWS) evaluated on the basis of their economic utility.

In the light of the above, it can be deduced how geopolitics widens - in our days - its field of investigation also to the theicopolitics (i.e. policy of building walls theorized by two French geographers, Florine Ballif and Stéphane Rosière) and to biopolitics (i.e. the set of norms and practices adopted by a state to regulate the biological life of individuals in its various phases and in its many areas).

Discussion aside will have to be addressed for the aesthetics of political (or theico aesthetic) walls: is the wall itself - as an artifact - a work of contemporary art? ... we will evaluate it!

In the meanwhile, in the next posts we will see how Contemporary Art has reworked the theme of the wall among documentary and denunciation works and visionary interpretations.

[source; caption: Belén Wall]

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