Bonnie Donohue

  • Bonnie Donohue

    Facial Recognition, Border Guard Exam: Blue Eyes (die Blauen Augen), 9.5 x 20 inches, 2019.

    Facial Recognition, Border Guard Exam: Blue Eyes (die Blauen Augen)
  • Bonnie Donohue

    Facial Recognition, Border Guard Exam: Chin (das Kinn), 9.5 x 20 inches, 2019.

    Facial Recognition, Border Guard Exam: Chin (das Kinn)
  • Bonnie Donohue

    Facial Recognition, Border Guard Exam: Eyebrows (die Augenbrauen), 9.5 x 20 inches, 2019.

    Facial Recognition, Border Guard Exam: Eyebrows (die Augenbrauen)
  • Bonnie Donohue

    Facial Recognition, Border Guard Exam: Face Shape (die Gesichtsform), archival pigmented print, 22 x 33 inches, 2013.

    Facial Recognition, Border Guard Exam: Face Shape (die Gesichtsform)
  • Bonnie Donohue

    Facial Recognition, Border Guard Exam: Forehead (die Stirn), 9.5 x 20 inches, 2019.

    Facial Recognition, Border Guard Exam: Forehead (die Stirn)
  • Bonnie Donohue

    Facial Recognition, Border Guard Exam: Hairstyle (die Haarfrisur), 9.5 x 20 inches, 2019.

    Facial Recognition, Border Guard Exam: Hairstyle (die Haarfrisur)
  • Bonnie Donohue

    Facial Recognition, Border Guard Exam: Mouth (der Mund), archival pigmented print, 22 x 33 inches, 2010.

    Facial Recognition, Border Guard Exam: Mouth (der Mund)
  • Bonnie Donohue

    Facial Recognition, Border Guard Exam: Neck (der Hals), 9.5 x 20 inches, 2019.

    Facial Recognition, Border Guard Exam: Neck (der Hals)
  • Bonnie Donohue

    Facial Recognition, Border Guard Exam: Smile (das Lächeln), archival pigmented print, 22 x 33 inches, 2010.

    When the Day Breaks from Night

Over the past few decades, Bonnie Donohue has worked in the borderlands created by military zones in Northern Ireland, South Africa, and Vieques Island in Puerto Rico. Working with documentation of militarized landscape, archival research, and interviews, her installations have eulogized the loss of community life through forced displacement, violence, murder, prostitution, and incarceration.

Her recent work or has taken her to sites along the 12,000 km long European Green Belt, a completely de-militarized space, which was known as the heavily fortified Iron Curtain during the Cold War. As her own government, the United States, demands the construction of a wall between Mexico and the United States, the tragic history of the Soviet wall-structure echoes in the tragedies piling up at the U.S./Mexican border.

Donohue views the Green Belt as one of the few utopian places in the world at this moment in time – a thin green line representing greater accessibility through a porous borderland that traverses 27 different countries. However, the thin green line is fragile. The porous border between Ireland and Northern Ireland is now threatened by the possible reinstitution of border control under Brexit, reminding us that any of the countries along the line are vulnerable from any perceived threat.

For her current exhibition at Schloss Agathenburg in Germany, she has edited materials from 1960s-era German border guard training manuals, evoking a distant past with blurry portraits and crisp texts, which originate from the early days of contemporary facial recognition technologies. Additionally, she includes an Augmented Reality installation, with large image of a prototype for the proposed U.S./Mexican border wall. The installation pays homage to the butterfly sanctuary at the border, which the U.S. plans to destroy in order to make way for the wall. Finally, she includes a projection of aerial views of the Green Belt, where the Iron Curtain once stood. It is a cautionary tale about the fragility of peace in any location in today's world.

Donohue collaborated with Reto Buser at the controls of a video drone to document the line by emulating the aerial surveillance of the Cold War.

Contact

www.bonniedonohue.com



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