Performative, global project

1996 - 97

The "Borderline" project involved a malleable sculptural piece named "Snake" that I used in order to create borderlines in numerous spaces around the world. The photographs in this page document this process - they were shown within documentary plates in the “Tower Tour” solo exhibition at the Canadian Cultural Centre, Paris, France, May 16 to September 6, 1997.
Borderlines, 1996 - 1997, installation view of "Snake", an ephemeral, performative sculpture with moving parts made of small bread bowls strung onto a cord. Badani travelled the world with this "Snake" and staged it in numerous sites.
The images below show the process of production of the malleable sculpture "Snake". I prepared bread dough at Poilâne Bakery in Paris, France. I cut and molded the dough onto mun molds and baked them. Once baked, they were threaded onto a cord in order to create a very long malleable sculptural form.


"Borderlines" is a project with “Snake” conducted in urban and non-urban spaces around the world. I took a malleable bread sculpture with me and I used it to delineate, separate or unify spaces. By hundreds, small bread bowls baked in a Paris bakery were strung onto a rope forming an inert snake with movable joints. From mass, the sculpture became line, both separator and link for the "Borderline" project. I installed a fragment of the bread-cord in various urban and rural sites. I left it in place until its partial or total disappearance, a process documented through video and photography. These documents explore the notion of unstable boundaries and they composed the documentary plate titled "Borderlines" shown in the "Tower-Tour" exhibition.

This is a performative project produced in 1996-97 as a response to historical events, and takes into consideration a key date in twentieth century history, 1989. The European map has changed considerably since then, as have the geopolitical situation, cultural values and traditional notions of identity in the world at large. The piece reflects on memory and the passage of time; on movement and displacement; on disappearance and erasures, on shifting ground, and on foreignness.

Pat Badani

Excerpt from the exhibition catalogue “Tower-Tour”, page 8, by Catherine Bedard:
"Snake" is a malleable measuring rod, a rather intimate object that the artist manipulates according to her wishes in order to delimit the places she visits. Stretched out to its full length, "Snake" is irresistibly attracted towards the ground; it pulls itself vertically only when falling upon itself in a position of withdrawal. Made of the same dough as the towers, identical to them except that it cannot alone hold itself up, it represents their phantasmagorical counterpoint: "Snake" can do everything that eludes the tower, rigid symbol of power and domination whose sole vocation consists in holding itself erect as high as possible and whose fall, when it happens, produces a catastrophe.