*1965, Darvel. Lives in Glasgow.
Photographic Documentation and Archive of Manifesta 2:
Roman Mensing, Münster
5 Set Conversation pieces, 1998 (painted porcelain on glass shelves)
Christine Borland's work often deals with issues of life and death from both pseudo-scientific and existential points of view. At the same time it highlights the mechanisms of power structures and authoritative disciplines. It involves the collaboration of professions like archaeology and criminology, as well as that of other people.
With the help of e.g. osteologists and the criminal police the artist has attempted in a series of projects series to reconstruct the identity of skeletons (mainly from India) that had been imported to the Western world. The information she thus obtained has often been presented in toned-down and rather dry museum-like installations, including slides, texts, bronze and plaster casts, medical literature and powdered bones.
For Manifesta 2, Christine Borland has cast parts of an anatomical model in porcelain, a material which itself is partly made of bones. A number of pelvises and fetal skulls in its inside have been painted in decorative oriental blue and white patterns borrowed from 18th-century English bone china, which, because of its non-European origin, was seen at the time as a symbol of wealth and, as such, often appeared in portraits of upper-class families.
At the Casino Luxembourg the pelvises and skulls are placed on glass shelves, slightly aside, like things one does not necessarily wish to talk about.