Flanders Is Next to Wallonie–Estranging the Line, 2010–12
(From Advice about Sharing a Country, an ongoing project begun in 2010)
Series of 21 inkjet prints
The artist placed the following advertisement in French- and Flemish language newspapers in Belgium: “Israeli woman visiting Belgium is looking to meet people for advice about sharing a country.” When none of the meetings panned out, Lifschitz took to the Belgian railroad system. Over the course of several days, she rode the trains, attempting to engage her fellow passengers in conversation. Often she asked people to draw the line that separates Flanders from Wallonie (Wallonia) on a copy of the Belgian rail map.
Each of the prints in this series is made of a line drawn by one of the people I encountered against an outline of the border of Belgium, with text relaying the story of the journey across the 21 maps. The lines appear as a mental delineation, a figure of memory and a gesture. The Belgian conflict has never been physically fought, and yet there is latent violence in its unfolding. The project traces that underlying conflict and its manifestations in the everyday.