Soft Boundaries / Hard Boundaries

Digital photography, variable dimensions

In nature there are no borders.
There are rules for coexistence in the comings
and goings of the species.
Only humans delimit their space,
and, thus, define their relationship with the “other”.

In much of the Oaxacan countryside,
people define the boundary between towns with a stone marker
which traces an invisible border.
In this manner, the territory belonging to each town is established,
without affecting freedom of movement.

Between corn fields a simple stone or stick
marks the boundary of a property and each person´s crops,
in an agreement of mutual respect.
These are the communal rules of existence.

They can be referred to as “soft”
the antithesis of those which,
while preventing passage,
establish a different relation with the “other”.

Boundary Stones

by Plinio Villagrán Galindo
for the Signs and Territory Exhibition
at the Hector García Gallery in Mexico City, 2013

The exhibition´s proposal is based on the subject of boundries, limits which human beings have imposed where they have populated and contructed ways of living. Julia reflects on hard and soft limits, underlining observations on the political and cultural phenomena of the act of saying “this territory is mine”, and all that assuming, naming and violating implies in the defense of issues such as homeland, nation, history, race, language, etc.