Liminal Spaces / Artists without Walls

When Israel began building its barrier between the West Bank and Israel at the end of 2003, artists from both sides of the divide decided to mount a spectacular event: on April 1, 2004, in Abu Dis, they projected recordings made by video cameras on both sides of the barrier so that it became virtually penetrable. “But already on April 2 it was quite clear to us that this was no way to oppose the wall,” says Eyal Danon, curator and now director of the Israeli Center for Digital Art. A reaction to this situation was the “Liminal Spaces” project, originally planned for nine months, which was a collaboration between the Israeli Center for Digital Art, the Palestinian Association for Contemporary Art (PACA), and the University of Arts Berlin. Artists, curators, and scholars from Palestine, Israel, and other countries came together at a series of conferences held at the Westbank checkpoint Qalandia, at places on both sides of the border, as well as in other cities, for example, Leipzig. Border crossings and the exploring of common terrain were not only the subject of art projects, but also a practical necessity; to also gather new experiences in the process was one of the goals of the endeavor. As was decided at the outset, no concluding exhibition was organized. The project was not designed to have an effect on the outside world; rather, it focused on working out methods of collaboration which are suited for opposing the logic of separation. A permanent network of contacts has developed, which has been effective in a variety of projects that came after.