CITIZEN | 2013 is a new exhibition and installation by artist Anthony Haughey, a cross-border collaboration between the artist, Millennium Court Arts Centre, Portadown and Highlanes Gallery, Drogheda. The border in Ireland has been historically marked with signs of conflict and sectarian division, the subject of earlier work by the artist in his exhibition and publication, Disputed Territory (2006). The border has been documented and defined culturally in literature, art and filmic representations. Yet it is easy to forget that the border is also an international boundary. There are no fences or passport control; a more subtle and pervasive form of surveillance is used instead. For migrants, the border is part of ‘Fortress Europe’ where they are subjected to the vagaries of European immigration policies. Borders and transnational migration has been a major theme of Haughey’s art practice for more than twenty-years. Although his work has encompassed a wide range of subjects, he has continually returned to this on-going investigation of what Saskia Sassen describes as ‘informal citizenship’, where migrants contest the right to move freely across borders in search of a better life. The movement of people across continents, seas and oceans is no longer fixed to a specific sense of place; migrants exist in-between states, attempting to negotiate citizenship with reluctant hosts. Despite the current economic crisis, migration is a global phenomenon that is here to stay. Haughey has worked collaboratively with individuals and groups who have left their countries of origin in the most urgent of times, many are living in temporary Reception Centre’s such as Mosney, a former Butlin’s Holiday Camp near Dublin for more than seven-years. Others are living on the periphery of European cities, near harbours in derelict buildings and squatter camps, and in forests behind six-metre high razor wire fences in North Africa waiting for an opportunity to enter Europe through the Spanish enclaves of Cueta and Melilla. Migrants are variously described by as refugees, asylum seekers, illegal aliens and sans papiers, stateless figures relegated to new spaces described by Giorgio Agamben as ‘camps’ or non-spaces located within state boundaries, and yet outside. The camp is a ‘space of exception’ within and without national space, where rights afforded to citizens of the state are suspended. Through a series of long-term encounters, and in many cases close personal relationships Haughey and a growing collective of migrants from all over the world have collaborated to produce video installations, photographs, texts and art interventions.
More Video documentation here
Citizen exhibition in Highlanes Gallery press release
How to be a Model Citizen, take the citizenship test
How to be a Model Citizen essay
Irish Times Review
Exile and Memory Source Photographic Review