Borders and the Politics of Mourning

In early 2014, the artist Anton Christian placed a shattered wooden boat in front of the impressive baroque Cathedral of St. Jakob in the heart of the Austrian city of Innsbruck. Christian had found the boat on the shores of the Adriatic Sea and brought it to Innsbruck to evoke images of Lampedusa, the Italian island that has become the symbol of the refugee crisis. After the boat was partially destroyed by vandals, the artist decided to keep the damaged object in front of the cathedral, supplemented by a marker that explained the attack. …