WHAT’S GOING ON: Two films and an art project explore the issue of boundaries, borders and walls, and the way these non-tangible separations materialize to attach the nonsensical idea of ownership of the Earth’s land to some groups of people, while simultaneously restricting access to others. “Minimal Republics” is an art project in which the artist Ruben Martin de Lucas seeks to found his own tiny states, each with 100 sq.m. of space, separated by a physical border, and inhabited by only one person: the artist. Situated in mountain ranges, beaches, football fields, parking lots, or even the middle of the ocean, these republics only exist for 24 hours and are then proclaimed obsolete to show the insignificance of any given defined territory in the overall timeline of our planet and universe. In a companion short film by Fernando Martín Borlán, “Stupid Borders,” the idea is explored through ownership of plots on the moon and other planets. While in “Iceberg Nations,” also filmed by Borlán, it’s taken further and deeper: flags proclaiming new republics are mounted on icebergs, and the depletion of meaning is observed as they melt.
WHO MADE IT: Fernando Martín Borlán is a filmmaker who currently resides in Madrid. He eschews the constraints of the industry, and contemporary art is just as significant a presence in his work, as cinematography and directorial work are. In fact, he defines his purpose in filmmaking as bringing people closer to art, and this fluidity is faithfully reflected in his work. For this project, he joined forces with Spanish artist Ruben Martin de Lucas. Educated as a civil engineer, de Lucas is a painter and multi-disciplinary artists, as well as co-founder of the collective Boa Mistura, which creates public space art on four continents. The collaboration between Borlan and de Lucas is not over, and hopefully, this project will be further populated with new geysers of imagination.