Pheasant Island (in French, île de la Conférence) is an isle of around 6820 square meters, located in the Bidassoa River, which separates Spain and France in their most western border. This island is a rare example of a peculiar border agreement: the condominium. A condominium is a territory jointly administrated by two or more countries. As can be imagined, this type of agreement depends on a gracious cooperation between all involved parties and, in fact, historically, most condominiums have not survived for very long. However, Pheasant Island is not just the oldest and smallest condominium in the world, it is also the only one where sovereignty is shared alternatively rather than simultaneously. Even today, a ceremony is held in the island every 6 months, where the armed forces of France and Spain exchange sovereignty.
The piece 'La Isla de los Faisanes. Un Umbral en el Tiempo' (Pheasant Island. A Threshold in Time), previously exhibited in the Royal Institute of Arts in Stockholm, attempts to summarise the dilemmas of allegiance, sovereignty, collective memory and symbolism in this curious example of condominium.
Author: Guillermo Sánchez Arsuaga