Pat Naldi



Neutral Ground 36.09N 5.21W
Neutral Ground 35.53N 5.19W

Installation above the doorways in the atrium of
The British School at Rome, Italy.

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Neutral Ground is a work that deals with the blank spaces on the map
known as no man's land.
These are territories found between international frontiers.
neutral2      neutral4
The two digitised neutral grounds represented in this installation correspond (although only identifiable through their co-ordinates of longitude and latitude) to the neutral territories between the British Overseas territory of Gibraltar and mainland Spain and the Spanish colony of Ceuta and mainland Morocco respectively. In Classical times this was the location of the Pillars of Hercules, the edges of the mapped ecumene, and the spatial limits consciously broken by Iberian navigation in the opening years of Europe's modernist imperial adventure.
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Material: Black fablon. Dimension: 3 metres x 2 metres & 2.25 metres x 15 cm

International frontiers, having become markers of identity in the 20th century, signify the decisive exclusion of all that is not culturally familiar. Colonisation put in place an inside and an outside, the foreign, the other, excluded from an assumed western normality. These imagined communities of territorial unity are now a universal phenomenon and often have deep historical roots; they are linked to the most powerful form of ideological bonding in the modern world, nationalism. Since the French Revolution the frontier has defined, in a legal sense, a sovereign authority, the identity of the individual and claims to nationality. Frontiers between states are the basic political institution.

However, we are now in a postmodern era of so-called blurring of frontiers through the dissemination of actual physical frontiers with the added global distribution of information and communication through digital technologies.




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