Doktoratsprojekt wissenschaftliche Forschung

Gates and Borders as Poros and Aporia in Contemporary Visual Culture and Contemporary Art

Deniz Güvensoy

The research focuses on the Border performativity and aporetics of the border in the context of visual culture and contemporary art. In the 1. chapter, it is focused on the concept of ‘B/ordering’ which considers the border as an act that connects legal/social order with the spatial order.  It argues that the border is aporetic because it puts into relation two mutually exclusive terms, inclusion and exclusion that marks the site of contradiction that serves to structure the social reality defined by the border’s boundaries.

The border can perfectly be defined by the term ‘aporia’ which can be translated as ‘an im/possible passage’ – an ontological impossibility or a self-contradictory state that both constructs and deconstructs itself. The term refers to the performative quality of the border, which circulates in an aporetic loop between some dualities such as unity/division, inclusion/exclusion, separation/connection, emancipation/blocking, real/imaginary, hospitality/hostility, public/private, male/female,  eternal/ephemeral,  law/exception.

In the 2. chapter;  the different views on the performativity of the border are discussed. The border is real to the extent that is performed. Its performativity has a compound structure that includes border performances of many different actors including counter movements or resistance against the border.

In the 3. chapter it is aimed to conceptualize the aporetic body, that projects the paradoxical nature of the border. New technologies of B/ordering, (e.g. body scanning, data tracking) extends the question how we carry the border in our own bodies, reproducing the distinction between Bare Life/Political Subject. The body has the potential to make the hidden boundaries in the established discourses visible. How the body performs the border, how we differentiate aporetic bodies from the liminal body and the main border performances will be discussed.

Last chapter will investigate the body and the bridge as metaphors of border aporetics. Istanbul’s Bosphorus Bridge, which is considered as a symbolic manifestation of Turkish identity will be analysed to understand the aporetic duality between East/West. Media imagery of the bodily performances on the Bridge (random suicides, Gezi park resistance, military coup attempt) will be used as a source. As a summary; both the body and the bridge as an example of urban thresholds will be analysed in a case study to argue that the border is performative, rather than a stable entity.