Elisa Bergel Melo
Cyanotype on paper, 127 x 122 cm (each)
Final Form, 2020
Borders are an acute notion for an emigrant, they are evident only from the zenith view of a map, alien to any real experience of a geographical limit. These spaces reveal our history but also question the relationship with our neighbors. A geopolitical reality derived from the Treaty of Basel of 1795 in the island Hispaniola shows two countries, Haiti and Dominican Republic, sharing a tense relationship that exemplifies on a small scale the great migratory problems in the world. Being alien to both countries, I assimilate this very demarcated limit that is established at a social, cultural and historical level, with the need to understand the Caribbean from another perspective. Working from the peripheries that these same maps establish in search of an alternative to the modernist ideals of progress, to undo colonial codes to generate new fictions of territory. From these circumstances I created a new set of islands that show the fortuitousness of this reality in order to visualize the vulnerability of the borders that define our sense of place so much. Forming 85 fictitious islands from the combination of the 13 islands of the Antilles that are not dependencies, the work is divided into two parts: 86 wooden pieces from contemporary maps that were used to obstruct the sunlight sensitizing 2 cyanotypes that together form an artificial sea.