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UBC Theses and Dissertations

Woodhaven Customs and Border Patrol : a performance between two solitudes Haworth, Lara Claire


This dissertation is a reflection and analysis of my thesis performance: a site-specific, durational installation of a border patrol service at Woodhaven Nature Conservancy in Kelowna, British Columbia: Woodhaven Customs and Border Patrol. The paper addresses the potentiality of performance to investigate, and critique, the separation of wilderness spaces from civilization spaces in contemporary culture; our relationship to “nature” and “culture” as two distinct entities; our relationship with borders, both international and metaphorical; and the history and emergence of national, provincial and regional parks as parallel to the history and emergence of Canada as a nation state. The performance of Border Patrol as a memory project is also examined, with attention paid to notions of “biogeography” as a nationalist project that overrides personal memory with institutional memory, and the parallels and similarities between the logic, structure and organisation of nature parks and museums. Throughout, there is an emphasis on performance, collaboration, and participation, with a retelling of key moments, stories, and memories from the performance itself in support of the analysis. In conclusion, the paper asserts that troubling binaries through performance can reveal the extent to which they are constituted by each other, and that notions of interdependency, collusion and collision are vital to a healthy appraisal of the ways in which we are currently using, inhabiting and marking out social space.

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