Zone Interdite, mapping the secret territories

Zone Interdite

According to the story, when Lady Godiva used to ride naked trough the streets of Coventry, only the curious Tom was so brave to look at her, becoming blind because of this violation. From legend to cinema, history is full of interdicted to view areas. However it is not weird wondering if the voyeurism, the desire of seeing what is forbidden, is such a dangerous practice. Zone Interdite, an art project developed by the Swiss artist Christopher Wachter, in collaboration with Matias Jude, deepen the know-how on the topic, mapping the military restricted areas.The military world is hidden from civil society by fences and prohibitive signs; it’s real existence is a taboo. Nevertheless, we are still able to discover prohibited zones in our immediate vicinity, blackouts of a close but invisible reality, paranoia generators. This is the reason why, according to the authors, it is essential to get the control over this ‘Zone de Non-Penser’, in order to escape the psychosis of what happen in these invisible places. Inspired by Google Maps success, Zone Interdite reconstructs the terrain which our reflection has been deprived of on two different “LEVELs”: Level_01 allows the user to find the military restricted areas using a search engine (by country, by force, by full text) and an atlas, focusing them with the Word Navigator; Level_02 reconstructs particular areas as artificial virtual 3D worlds, that can be personally explored as a virtual walkthrough on ones own Computer (the Guantanamo prison as well as an Islamic training camp in Sudan are downloadable at present). The power of the project lies in disarming the military force of its censorious power, lighting up the shadow zones, those that till now peeping Tom could watch only though the keyhole.

Valentina Culatti