Dan Halter often addresses migration, displacement, and dislocated identity in his work. Halter was born to Swiss parents in Rhodesia, an unrecognized state that later became the Republic of Zimbabwe, and he now lives and works in South Africa. His Rifugiato Mappa del Mondo (Refugee Map of the World) is constructed from cheaply produced plastic-mesh bags, which are often carried by refugees. Unlike traditional political maps, in which each country is differentiated by color and sharply outlined boundaries, Halter’s map foregrounds the arbitrariness of borders and the ubiquity and similarity of the immigrant experience the world over. The patchwork map also suggests that identity is defined not by one country but by a combination of memories and experiences.
Label from We the People: New Art from the Collection, October 23, 2018–July 21, 2019