Guarding the boarder

Guarding the boarder

Installation, Political / Social, Metal, 350x75x120cm
The object is directly inspired by the boat Volvo Penta GSB 066. It is constructed at a scale of 1:3. This model, also dubbed the „pike“, was used for guarding the river on parts of the border in the socialist countries. The area with the highest protection was on Slovak-Austrian border, which was the only contact point with Western Europe. Limit was defined by two rivers; Moravia from the western part and Danube from the south.

Shipwreck refers to a specific time and place. At least 42 people were killed in cold blood in 1948-1949 while attempting to illegally cross the mentioned border. Just as many (42) applications for border crossing are on the object. These are forms that had to be submitted if somebody wanted to travel out of the country.

Each form was made for a particular person that was killed. The time and place written on the forms are actually identical with time and place when and where the person was killed. All of them are supplemented with original stamp of Passport and Visa Department from the period of Czechoslovakia. Forms symbolize the permissions which killed people never received.

Boat stern is covered with a sail, made from forms that are stitched together. Object as a whole reminds deferred and forgotten ship. However, it does still exist and bothers.

Slovakia has not been able to draw the criminal responsibility for these “murders” during Socialism so far. And thus this object by its form recalls the notorious skeleton in a cupboard that we as a country are failing to deal with.

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