BORDERS AND BOUNDARIES: MARTIN ELUCHANS’ MAPS IN CONFLICT

The Expanded Field
Verónica Aguirre L. for LOFscapes
20.03.2018
(1) Latin America, Borders and Boundaries Series (Serie Límites y Fronteras) (2015-2017) @ Martin Eluchans for LOFscapes / (2) Argentina vs Malvinas, Borders and Boundaries Series (Serie Límites y Fronteras) (2015-2017) @ Martin Eluchans for Borders and Boundaries Series (Serie Límites y Fronteras) (2015-2017) @ Martin Eluchans for LOFscapes / (3) Chile vs Bolivia, Borders and Boundaries Series (Serie Límites y Fronteras) (2015-2017) @ Martin Eluchans for LOFscapes

From 2015 to date, the artist Martìn Eluchans has developed the series Borders and Boundaries, a work that shows historical territorial and political conflicts among nations through the overlapping of embroidered maps. Each stitch speaks of the poetics of advancing, modifying, or undoing military, political and/or strategic movements and represents how man is capable of comparing, altering, ordering, and constructing a new form of geographical landscape.


From 2015 to date, the artist Martìn Eluchans (Santiago, 1984) has developed the series Borders and Boundaries. The work is done through the embroidery of different frames that both enclose and encompass geopolitical problems of world history. These are presented through two overlapping maps – one mute outlined in black and the other with its surface embroidered – historical and current conflicts that are territorial, political, and social, some inconclusive and others resolved. Each stitch speaks of the poetics of advancing, modifying or undoing strategic movements. For the author, this symbolizes the fragility of nations over time in this world in which territorial limits change and visions of power and immigration are increasingly polarized. Whether by imposing an ideology, conquering territories or subjugating a people, the world has witnessed constant tensions, conflicts and wars in which the common factor is the desire for control.

On war maps, the centers of authority and power were marked in red. A large network of borders divided the field into a number of sectors, while a system of different colors and types of lines showed where each one belonged in the spatial hierarchy, author John B. Jackson explained (1). In this case, the artist uses thirty variations of red threads to symbolize bloodshed, the deep wounds in these clashes, and also, to interpret and represent military or political decisions.

(1) John B. Jackson, “Aprendiendo sobre Paisajes”(Learning about Landscapes) in La Necesidad de Ruinas y Otros Ensayos (The Need for Ruins and Other Essays) (Santiago: Editions ARQ, 2012 [1980], p.28. Translation by Romy Hecht M. and Danilo Martic V.


Eluchans reflects how armies and political power do more than destroy; they create order in the territorial configuration. As Professor and Researcher Romy Hecht highlights, “the military landscape is not only one of the most radical and clear territorial configurations to recognize, but from that condition it can be used as a way of understanding that the landscape is, in fact, a human construction”(2). This is how each stitch interprets a decision and a construction, which in its artistic expression represents management, control, and domination over the changes in the territorial limits of a nation over time. Works like Argentina vs Malvinas, Chile vs Bolivia, United States vs North Korea, among others, are not only a response to an aesthetic idea, but reveal a critical position of the artist. He directly and elegantly denounces a historical confrontation between nations and how man supposes himself capable of altering geography to the point of spatially ordering the figure, the form, the pattern of the territory through his strategic and violent movements with the aim of domination. The exceptions are the Antarctic and the Arctic, the only zones of peace, not embroidered, invisible.

(2) Romy Hecht M., “The Military Landscape” in Woven Landscapes of LOFscapes <www.lofscapes.com> (08.09.2015).


The Series Borders and Boundaries will be shown in a group exhibition of Chilean artists in the Arts Pavilion of the Pontifical Catholic University of Argentina in Puerto Madero, Buenos Aires, Argentina. For more information about the artist, go to www.martineluchans.comhttps://www.instagram.com/martineluchans/

Martín Eluchans (Santiago, 1984). BA in Visual Arts and Art Pedagogy, Finis Terrae University, Chile. Master’s degree in Stage Design at ELISAVA, University of Engineering Design, Barcelona, Spain.

(4) Spain vs Latin America (España vs América Latina), Borders and Boundaries Series (Serie Límites y Fronteras) (2015-2017) @ Martin Eluchans for LOFscapes
(5) The United States vs North Korea (Estados Unidos vs Corea del Norte), Borders and Boundaries Series  (Serie Límites y Fronteras) (2015-2017) @ Martin Eluchans for LOFscapes
(6) France vs Africa (Francia vs África), Borders and Boundaries Series (Serie Límites y Fronteras) (2015-2017) @ Martin Eluchans for LOFscapes
(7) Russia vs the United States (Rusia vs Estados Unidos), Borders and Boundaries Series (Serie Límites y Fronteras) (2015-2017) @ Martin Eluchans for LOFscapes
(8) Venezuela vs Venezuela, Borders and Boundaries Series (Serie Límites y Fronteras) (2015-2017) @ Martin Eluchans for LOFscapes
 (9) World Map (Mapa Mundi), Borders and Boundaries Series (Serie Límites y Fronteras) (2015-2017) @ Martin Eluchans for LOFscapes
(10) World Map Detail (Detalle Mapa Mundi), Borders and Boundaries Series (Serie Límites y Fronteras) (2015-2017) @ Martin Eluchans for LOFscapes

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2019-10-28T18:02:41-03:00