Bonnie Donohue: A THIN GREEN LINE: Borderlands

September 23 - October 18, 2020

  • Bonnie Donohue

    Video still from Thin Green Line, (05:01 minutes).

    Video still from Thin Green Line
  • Bonnie Donohue

    Die Augenbrauen (Eyebrows), digital photograph on acrylic, 20 x 9.5 inches, 2019.

    Die Augenbrauen (Eyebrows)
  • Bonnie Donohue

    Die blauen Augen (Blue Eyes), digital photograph on acrylic, 20 x 9.5 inches, 2019.

    Die blauen Augen (Blue Eyes)
  • Bonnie Donohue

    Das Kinn (Chin), digital photograph on acrylic, 20 x 9.5 inches, 2019.

    Das Kinn (Chin)
  • Bonnie Donohue

    Der Hals (Neck), digital photograph on acrylic, 20 x 9.5 inches, 2019.

    Der Hals (Neck)
  • Bonnie Donohue

    Der Mund (Mouth), digital photograph on acrylic, 20 x 9.5 inches, 2019.

    Der Mund (Mouth)
  • Bonnie Donohue

    Der Stern (Forehead), digital photograph on acrylic, 20 x 9.5 inches, 2019.

    Der Stern (Forehead)
  • Bonnie Donohue

    Die Gesichtsform (Facial Structure), digital photograph on acrylic, 20 x 9.5 inches, 2019.

    Die Gesichtsform (Facial Structure)
  • Bonnie Donohue

    Die Haarsfrisur (Hair Style), digital photograph on acrylic, 20 x 9.5 inches, 2019.

    Die Haarsfrisur (Hair Style)

Artist Page
Press Release

Artist Statement

Over the past few decades, Bonnie Donohue has worked in the borderlands created by military zones in Northern Ireland, South Africa, and Vieques Island in Puerto Rico. Working with documentation of militarized landscape, archival research, and interviews, her installations have eulogized the loss of community life through forced displacement, murder, prostitution, and incarceration.

Her recent work has taken her to sites along the European Green Belt, a completely demilitarized green space along the 12,000 km location of the former Soviet Cold War barrier known as the Iron Curtain. As her own government, the United States, demands the construction of an anti-immigration wall, the tragic history of the Soviet structure echoes in the tragedies piling up at the U.S./Mexican border. Donohue views the Green Belt as one of the few utopian places in the world at this moment in time—a thin green line representing greater accessibility through a porous borderland that traverses a distance of 7500 miles at the edges of 27 different countries. However, that thin border is fragile. The porous border between Ireland and Northern Ireland is now threatened by the possible reinstitution of border control under Brexit, reminding us that any of the countries along the European line may become vulnerable from any perceived threat.

She edits materials from 1960s-era German border guard training manuals, evoking a distant past with blurry portraits and crisp texts, which originate from the early days of contemporary facial recognition technologies. Additionally, she has created an Augmented Reality installation that pays homage to a huge butterfly sanctuary at the U.S./Mexico border, which the U.S. plans to destroy to make way for the wall. She includes a projection of aerial views of the Green Belt, where the Iron Curtain once stood. It is a cautionary tale about the fragility of peace in any location in today's world.

Donohue collaborated with Reto Buser at the controls of a video drone to document the line while emulating aerial surveillance during the Cold War.



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