AU BORD

(2022)



From the publisher:

This publication restores in its entirety an important project of the French-American photographer Mikael Levin. Produced in 1993 and exhibited several times, this set of 94 black and white photographs documents the singular situation on the European continent at a time when the Schengen agreement abolished customs barriers and when the war in Yugoslavia, which broke out in 1991, put the question of national identities back into play. Levin followed the border between France and, successively, Belgium, Luxembourg, and Germany, systematically photographing the remaining traces of the old demarcation: abandoned passport control booths, customs houses, disused cross-border businesses, obsolete signs and road markings.... Between a European tradition of conflicting nation-state borders and an American imaginary of the progressive conquest towards a better world, the border is captured by Levin in all its cultural and political complexity, in a vision traversed by ambivalent feelings of melancholy, optimism and anxiety. Rediscovering these photographs is essential in the current context which contemplates the reinstitution of border controls in Europe, against a backdrop of the pandemic crisis, climate change, migratory fears, rising populism and the return of war.

In French. Texts by Mikael Levin and Luc Baboulet.