workshop and urban intervention, Gorizia (I)/ Nova Gorica (SLO)



a project by transbanana (1996-99; Margarethe Müller/ Paul Rajakovics/ Bernd Vlay)

The international workshop „Projecting the Border. Gorizia/ Nova Gorica: New Spaces of Dialogue“, organized by ACMA in 1997, focussed on the problematics of this city divided after WW II, where the EU-border cut right through the middle of town. Which impact will the removal of the EU-border (expected within the next 10 years) have on the political, economical, social and cultural space of this divided city?

transbanana (Paul Rajakovics, Bernd Vlay, M.Müller) founded transbanana tv. For the casting 8 „actors“/ participants were selected, 4 from the Slovenian and 4 from the Italian part of town. For their first presentation they received instructions in their native language.
1. Look for a space in the city where you feel free!
2. Get in a boat there!
3. Consider what you want to take with you on the boat!

The meeting places suggested by the contributors were marked on a city map and in a schedule serving as script for the film shooting. This resulted in a network of locations we travelled to in the next days with our equipment. The space-time syntax was based on the strict criteria of changing sites between Italy (Gorizia) and Slovenia (Nova Gorica) so that the film shooting evolved into a continuous switching between the two nations.

The second performance took place right at the border in front of the Slovenian train station marked by a fence 30 meters in front of the train station which forced the pedestrians to take a detour of 2 hours. This was the site for the final film shooting, for which we developed a special type of sports, the "borderline badminton" on an international field. The border fence was turned into the net, marking the two halfs of the playing fields - one on the Slovenian, one on the Italian side. For placing the camera a part of the fence was removed so that the EU-border was lifted during the course of the game.

Remark: The Schengen treaty lifted the EU- border in 2007 so that the national borders between Gorizia (Italy) and Nova Gorica (Slovenia) can be transgressed at any place in town ever since then.