SCHENGEN

With work by Matei Bejenaru, Alexey Chebykin, Matteo Ghidoni, Pablo Helguera, IRWIN/NSKSTATE.COM, Ciprian Muresan, OMA/AMO, Hito Steyerl, REP Group 

February 10 to April 13, 2008

 

OMA/AMO’s proposed barcode flag for the European Union captures exactly how disconnected the components of this expanding unionization project are from becoming a whole. Schengen, the name of a small town in Luxembourg, has become the buzzword referring to the systematic breakdown of physical and virtual borders dividing countries in Europe. The Schengen Agreements ask for the establishment of information sharing networks, the harmonizing of policies ranging from immigration to transparencies of markets, and are ultimately the final step for becoming the non-entity status of “European.” Considering the voracious pace at which the EU is bringing members into its club, the commonalities that push would-be and non-members on a quest for “normalization” adds a new dimension from which artists and citizens cull fascination in analyzing their own nationhood in flux. This grouping of artists, architects, and theoreticians gives a composite sketch of Schengen that promotes Europe through re-envisioning borders, disappearing locality, the creation of national palimpsests and informal markets, inspiring alternative modes of entry, exile and escape; and overall, helping make identities more flexible.