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A Performance by

Karl Lakolak

October 7th 2008, Bordeaux


Art Interventions

Caution Border

Art Intervention by the CCC Research-based MA
Programme at Geneva University of Art and Design (HEAD) - First installation realized in Brussels, at the European Commission, on January 23rd 2009

Artists: Kasia Boron, Giulia Cilla, Gael Lugaz,
Urduja Manaoag & Eva May

Tutor : Sylvain Froidevaux

For the art intervention, the group chose to focus on the notion of “borders” in a broad sense, and create elements that could be used in improvised installations at various sites.

1. A Visual Investigation: Experiencing Frontiers – Switzerland / France

For the Lüneburg Conference “Issues of Pastoralism – Zur Situation der Hirtenvölker”, on October 24–25 2008, the CCC group prepared a slideshow and a video projection, as part of their ongoing research on borders. The first segment, called “A Visual Investigation: Borders” was a collection of different types and conceptions of borders. The second segment, entitled “Experiencing Frontiers – Switzerland / France” was a video experiment, in which some members of the group attempted to follow the unmarked border between Switzerland and France through the landscape. The presentation was a method for the group to develop their collaborative art intervention..


2. Caution Border : Art Intervention in Brussels

Watch the video of the installation in Brussels :

click here

During the day of January 23, 2009, the CCC group built up installations in and around some of the European Commission’s buildings in Brussels. The installations consisted of barriers placed in busy areas in order to complicate people’s movement through them. They consisted of customised caution tape with the text “This is not a natural border”, as well as so-called “wet signs”, on which the text “caution wet floor” was replaced by “caution border”.

During the intervention flyers were distributed, which were printed with the pictogram reproduced on the wet signs, showing a man attempting to cross a border, and the text “this is not a natural border”. On the back of the flyer were written three questions: Do you have problems at the border? Do borders protect you? Are borders natural? Questions that relate directly to some issues raised in relation to the situation of pastoralist people in Karamoja.

The aim of the intervention was to stimulate a reflection on borders by confronting the public with a concrete experience of them. Wet signs are a familiar sight in corridors, but when they warn us of a border instead of a wet floor, something seems to be wrong. As the public physically negotiates these obstacles, an environment is created where the spectator may question his or her notions of borders. The obstacle-installation also included a caution tape warning us that this border is not natural. But what is a natural border anyway? The thought of a border being build up in a corridor, and then called natural is absurd. And by stating this, the group was aiming at making the public consider how natural any kind of border actually is (Political borders? Colonial? Social? Cultural? Etc.).

During the two days in Brussels, wet signs, caution tape and postcards were also used for public interventions downtown, at the Saint-Hubert Galleries and at the Grand-Place. The group from the CCC at the Geneva University
of Art and Design was also invited to participate in the “Burning Ice Festival” at KAAI Studio Brussels, where they presented the “Caution Border” installation in the exhibition rooms next to works by David Buckland, Shiro Takatani and Siobhan Davies.


The "Caution Border" installation was repeated thereafter at different locations, allowing a site-adaptive relevance to emerge each time:

At the World Humanitarian Studies Conference (04-07.02.2009), at the University of Groningen (NL)

At the conference "Lebenswert - Die Konferenz zur Nachhaltigkeit" (28.03.2009), at the Leuphana University Lüneburg (DE)

At the entrance of the Anthropology Museum in Brno (CZ), at the occasion of the 'Native and Indigenous Film Fest' (16.05.2009)

Upcoming: In the streets and other spaces of Copenhagen, at the occasion of the COP15 (world summit on climate change) (mid-December 2009)...


At the entrance of the Anthropology Museum in Brno (CZ)