“Counter-construction” has become a significant philosophical framework in my practice. Counter-construction and the sculptural/spatial methodology of ‘removal’ describe an approach to art-making that I feel resonates with the current zeitgeist of untangling or ‘undoing’: undoing damage to the planet, ourselves, other people, other species, soil, plants, environments and ecosystems. “Counter-construction” is an acknowledgement that dominate knowledge systems are built on foundations of violence and exclusion, and although these foundations may have been relevant or even necessary at one point in time, need to be revisited and transcended. In short; there is a need for society at large to revise our primary reference points of which the Peace of Westphalia and the origins of modern statecraft stands as an example.
The Peace of Westphalia was a series of treaties signed on 24th October 1648 that marked the end of the Thirty Years’ War (1618–1648), a destructive and violent series of religious and territorial wars in Europe that caused the death of approximately eight million people. The treaties together ushered in a new era of peace, diplomacy and sovereignty that is the foundation of the prevailing world order. With the Peace came the division and establishment of non-volatile territorial borders that (mostly) still exists today. However, as marine and terrestrial life (including humans) increasingly need to cross borders to find food, safety and shelter the consequences of enforcing invisible and entirely man-made and historical divisions are becoming increasingly event.
What would art in a border-less world be?