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Date: Tue, 19 Jun 2007 10:22:02 GMT
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Masquerade (installation) & IRM#02 in 'Before the Free World' at Geneva Freeport Zone

Before the free world sits a gatekeeper. To this gatekeeper comes a woman from the nation who asks to gain entry into the free world. But the gatekeeper says that he cannot grant her entry at the moment. The woman thinks about it and then asks if she will be allowed to come in later on. €It is possible,€ says the gatekeeper, €but not now.€ At the moment the gate to the free world stands open, as always, and the gatekeeper walks to the side, so the woman bends over in order to see through the gate into the inside. When the gatekeeper notices that, he laughs and says: €If it tempts you so much, try it in spite of my prohibition. But take note: I am powerful. And I am only the most lowly gatekeeper. From room to room stand gatekeepers, each more powerful than the other. I can€™t endure even one glimpse of the third.€ The gatekeeper gives her a stool and allows her to sit down at the side in front of the gate. There she sits for days €¦ and years. She makes many attempts to be let in, and she wears the gatekeeper out with her requests. The gatekeeper often interrogates her briefly, questioning her about her homeland and many other things, but they are indifferent questions, the kind great men put, and at the end he always tells her once more that he cannot let her inside yet.€ (after Kafka, 1915)

Before the Freeworld is a research project by Ciel Grommen on freeports and more in particular on the freeports and warehouses of Geneva.
A free port is a bonded zone under customs control to store goods in transit. The €˜free€™ aspect of freeports refers to the suspension of customs duties and taxes until the moment the goods reach their final destination. Recently the freeports of Geneva have made media headlines since it is increasingly used as a permanent home for investment goods such as artworks.

While residing in a container in the Swiss zone of the site with a view on the fiscal no-man€™s land under customs control, Grommen invites people during the month of June to visit and discuss the contested place and its relation with the world of contemporary art today. The space of assembly is furnished by €˜art crates€™ that function as furniture for a pop-up art event. An animated emergency map invites visitors to carefully examine the alleged normality behind which critical economic progresses take place.
The very presence and focus on the physical functioning of the space recalls the centrality of place in the current discussions on globalism and transnationalism. The place is then again put into relation with the global dynamics between art, architecture and economy thanks to a screening of the MASQUERADE, a film project by the Belgian artists Vermeir & Heiremans on Saturday 12th of June 2015, 17h.

@ Geneva freeports and warehouses, site de La Praille, container number 278-630-9, Geneva