UK / Duration 9m 50s / 2011
The Separation Line aims to reveal an experience of the British border shared by hundreds of civilians and members of the British Armed Forces. Between 2007 and 2011 the small English market town of Wootton Bassett became the site for the British repatriation ceremonies and for an eighteen-month period between February 2010 and August 2011, Davies filmed and documented all the repatriation ceremonies that passed through the town including the conclusion of the ceremonies when they finished in August 2011.
Her motivation was to understand the repatriations from a local position or street level and through a contemporary video practice, contributing different understandings of a ceremony that was initiated in 2007 by the townsfolk themselves. Filming alternative aspects and perspectives to that of documentaries and constant media coverage, the HD video work shares an experience of the repatriations that has not currently been presented at a local, national or international level.
For several years Davies has been lecturing on and researching borders and border spaces, often engaging with people who are either bound by geo-political circumstance or liberated from certain structural obligations. As part of an ongoing investigation into the restructuring activities created by border spaces, her video installations are involved with a multitude of public and personal testimonies about a subject that is active and ever mobilized. Her video works are also preoccupied with looking – how we look at borders and more importantly how we look across borders as to look is to recognise the beginnings of empathy and communication.
Attracted by political transformations, which dictate how society, territory and political debate are controlled, her work realizes the sensation of a border as an experience of the artifice and of human division. In order to propose alternative relations between social, historical and economic episodes, her installations attempt enable an inclusive dialogue with an audience about the effect of political structures that interrupt and divide the flows of everyday life.
Previous video projects have included 38th Parallel 2008, working with the UN Armistice Commission and United States Forces in Korea to research and film the Korean border from within the Korean Demilitarised Zone and Commonwealth 2009, documenting the journey and experience of the British citizenship ceremonies, facilitated by the British Home Office, Sheffield City Council and Yorkshire ArtSpace.