Stanstead Project, or how to cross the border revolves around the theme of border lines, those which, as architectural artefacts inscribed in the landscape, have an impact on citizens' mobility. In the last few months, the citizens of Stanstead—the border town in the Eastern Townships that neighbours Derby Line, Vermont—have seen a heightening in border security, manifest in the construction of fences and a growing number of customs officers and arrests. New border policies across the world are having repercussions all the way in Stanstead, where people have routinely crossed the border for generations going back to the late 18th century, some with family members on both sides of it.
- Geneviève Chevalier
In juxtaposition to the carefully monitored town site, there lays thousands of kilometers of wilderness just a few minutes from Stanstead; here the only thing that separates Canada from the US is a six-metre-wide cut line through the forest. These photographs focus on the wilderness-border zone, and stand in sharp contrast to the difficulties of crossing the boundary within the rural centre.
The artist's book Borderlands (Monuments 537 to 540) presents GPS data from a walk along the international boundary between two granite boundary markers (number 537 at the West end of the walk near Duck Pond, South of Lac Lyster, to number 540 at the East end just outside of Stanhope, Québec). When unfolded, this book presents the entire 18 kilometer journey, as a line plotted according to pace.
Walk the Line is a 5-minute video loop with ambient sound, comprised of four shots made along the Stanstead-area cutline. The only action in these static shots is generated by the wind in the leaves, and through a brief appearance of the artist walking the line, and disappearing into the foliage.
The final component of the project is a historic map. Created in 1929, Boundary Map, Sheet No. 6, International Boundary from the St. Lawrence River to the Source of the St. Croix River, defines the international boundary between Lake Memphremagog and Stanhope, Québec. The locations of the monuments from Borderlands, and the cutline where the artist walked and made photographs can all be identified on this map depicting a strip of land 1-2 kilometers in breadth North and South of the international border.