How does belonging feel like to different people around the world? This is Yann Gross’ kickstart question for his artwork EVERYONE IS LOOKING AT YOU. Interested in community and identity building, the Swiss photographer experienced being in a border territory as a foreigner. As he describes it, when one is at the border, they are constantly watched by the people who live there. During his ten days in Cúcuta for artistic residency BLURRED LINES, Yann Gross created shapes of people’s faces, in an effort to highlight the omnipresence of the eyes that were always looking at him. Whilst making the facial shapes, the artist also recorded the process, combining it with video portraits of the people involved. For the exhibition, Yann Gross was inspired by a plaster Jesus statue he found in a store while walking through Colombian territory. Just like the statue, the eyes of his art pieces also follow the public. With EVERYONE IS LOOKING AT YOU, the artist reminds us that in border zones, surveillance is not only digital, but very much concrete.
For 10 days, six artists researched and created together innovative artworks to generate the exhibition BLURRED LINES. The art residency took place between 22/07/2022 and 31/07/2022 in Cúcuta, the destination of many refugees and migrants in Colombia. Because the city is on the border with Venezuela, MATZA EDGELANDS saw it as a relevant place to explore how new formats of social contract could emerge among the complex and blurred layers of cities. Curated by Séverin Guelpa and Anja Wyden Guelpa in alignment with the Edgelands Institute, MATZA EDGELANDS CÚCUTA combined MATZA’s artistic potential of addressing social and environmental issues with Edgelands’ urge to understand the consequences of technology and digitalization on the urban fabric.