The Strip, 2023
Situated emphatically between Germany, Switzerland and Liechtenstein, Vorarlberg presents a paradigmatic case of a frictionless European present. Yet, underneath this veneer of stability and affluence, Vorarlberg reveals itself as the land of the Swabian children, as a crossing for Austrian fighters of the Spanish International Brigades, as a passageway for Jewish populations fleeing to Switzerland during the Second World War. The project "The Strip" explores these aspects of the region in an artistic meditation on stillness and movement, demarcation and fluidity. Janine Maria Schneider questions the idea of the border - its arbitrary, contingent and disciplinary character - with reference to the history of women who smuggled food and luxury goods under their skirts from Switzerland to Austria. Schneider's new work shows a two-piece continuous zipper which, when joined together, forms a large yellow zipper skirt. In a performance documented photographically by the artist, a border stone disappears under the skirt so that only the performer remains visible in the landscape.
Text: Christos Asomatos, Athens
Skirt: Paqui Costea & William Nunes (Efecto Limón), Barcelona