Borders are to be seen first and foremost as a means of separation. As a division between two sides, and as a definition of “here” and “there”. Borders also paint a portrait of what exists within their boundary lines, thereby providing a sense of shelter and security. And, no matter all claims to permanence, there is nothing quite as mutable. It is indeed ironic that so many people, from individuals to entire groups and populations, harbour such a sense of pride and protectionism with regard to their borders, even though these are fictitious entities in constant flux, ever-shifting and even disappearing completely.

(Roger Eberhard)

The series Human Territoriality by Swiss photographer Roger Eberhard explores former borders and border areas all across the world and throughout human history. Some borders have been altered by climate change or by human interventions in the landscape; still others due to religious or cultural movements and shifts of power.

In an era moulded by mass migration, border walls and immigration controls, Eberhard’s photographs capture the transience of these man-made demarcations and, together with the accompanying captions, allow us to discover our world as a cartographic puzzle.

Roger Eberhard, born in Zurich in 1984, studied at Hochschule der Künste in Zurich and at Brooks Institute of Photography in Santa Barbara, USA.

Eberhard’s photographs can be found in public and private collections, including Fotomuseum Winterthur, and have been shown at C/O in Berlin, the National Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art in Seoul and at the Swiss National Library in Bern.

Mai 36 is delighted to present the exhibition Human Territoriality as part of our 36.1 project. 36.1 is an initiative launched by Henri Gisler with the aim of showcasing, debating and discovering emerging and established artists 36.1 serves as a platform for discussions, events and exhibitions on the first floor of Mai 36 Galerie in Zurich.