While the border sleeps

2012 Yampil Vinnitskaya obl. Ukraine

Installation
with LEDs and light-sensitive controller

Border can’t arise in a moment. A long trail of increasing opacity follows the formal agreements and treaties: time is needed to brake useful connections and acquaintances among people and businesses, and the new ones are developing based on economic factors and smuggling.

I observed the process of border arising between Ukraine and Moldova, former Soviet republics, down the Dniester river for a long time. Despite all formalities and penalties the illegal transportation was going on beyond big towns and check-points.

Yampil, Ukrainian town, attracted residents with farm products from Moldova’s villages Cosăuți and Iorjniţa, which crossed the river by oars and boats, especially on fair days.

Gradually transport flow between the border descreased. An amount of boats usually stood by the river declined from year to year, and the banks seemed to slide apart because of their disappearance.

I installed the rope with led lights as a reminder of the past common route across the Dniester between countries which should prevent them to move away further. At least, symbolically.

The lights turned on every night and shut off at dawn automatically. Of course, this installation like any other on the state border couldn’t be mounted with official approve, so it was a kind of anonymous construction.

The rope was in operation for about a week after its installation, then it was dismantled by border patrol, which members took it as smugglers ropeway. Later there were several reports on local newspapers and TV about new smugglers channel recognized by patrol, but they were quite frequent on this topic those times.