Belgian architect-artist

Koen Deprez

1995

Bering Strait

Most often used to depict geography, maps represent three-dimensional space in a static and graphic way. The political borders of a territory are similarly fixed on the paper. But what happens when you randomly cut out circular pieces of land and rearrange them on the map? Koen Deprez decided to test his ideas on the 82-kilometre-wide Bering Strait – a narrow passage of water that was bitterly contested during the Cold War and known as the 'Ice Curtain' between the Soviet Union and the United States. In Deprez's newly created space, Russia is attached to the American territory.
With his intervention, the artist files a complaint against the strategic and political borders imposed by policy-makers over the heads of local citizens. Such divisions of space can greatly impede a population's freedom of movement – with dramatic consequences for the liveability of certain areas. Yet Bering Strait is also an invitation, one that encourages the local population to dispense with the existing parameters that determine the space and to find secret new routes and short cuts.

Collage Canada – Russia, 30 x 19 x 3 cm

Collage Canada – Russia, 30 x 19 x 3 cm

Collage Russia – Canada, 30 x 19 x 3 cm

Collage Russia – Canada, 30 x 19 x 3 cm