744 kilometers, this is the length of the border between Italy and Switzerland, which runs through the High Alps and passes by the lowest point in Switzerland. A physical and mental border that metabolises the shared stories and frictions between the two territories. The display at the Swiss Institute launches a research project that will continue to grow and to which you are invited to contribute.
Since 2013, VOLUMES has built a collection of art books, fanzines and magazines, thanks to the many donations received each year for the international open call exhibition and publication award. Taking this library as a place of investigation, the collective has sought new forms of organization and understanding of the archive and has addressed the challenge of categories and inventories. To do this, VOLUMES collaborates with external voices to interact with present, but also absent contents, which could be added to the archive following specific curatorial guidelines.
The collection is then archived through a series of dynamic sections, which continue to grow and are presented online, through lectures and exhibition setups.
Starting from the publications already present in the VOLUMES archive, the new 744 km selection attempts to capture the past and present transits between Switzerland and Italy across the shared border. In order to address intricate histories shaped by movements and politics, a wide range of published material from different fields has been assembled. The publications of female artists, independent, academic and mainstream publishing of the last decades tell us some of these different histories, projections and ideologies embedded in the topography of the border.