FAIR was an interesting project. With the notion of re-imagining the art fair our group created a new way of promoting creativity and encouraging discussion. This was done under the guise of a Micronation, the idea was to create a fun element and unique way of allowing people to engage with the subject of territories and boundaries. In the year of the referendum we felt it was worth while opening up this platform, not to force our political views but to offer a politically neutral zone where people could openly discuss and debate. However more importantly encourage people to think about what territories and boundaries to be. The nation of Ahland allowed people to look at boundaries and territories and openly discuss what they perceived them to be. Shortly after Ahland was created we began to realize that there was so much more that we could offer people to help them interact with the theme and openly discuss what they felt they needed to say. Ahland offered a politically neutral space to discuss whatever people wanted but the online realm added to extra potential. Offering people writers awards and other digital residencies/awards allowed us to help people and reach out to individuals who were unable to attend the exhibition.
The space itself had an open type of boundary, only vinyl separated Ahland from the UK, people were free to cross the border and were welcome to sign up for citizenship (which is still available online). The flag flew high above the space from a wall mounted flagpole, directly below sat the King of Ahland with the Royal Sword and chest. Ahland Press sat beside it with a display of all the Ahlandian activities that started after the founding of Ahland. The Ahlandian national library sat in the Northeast corner of Ahland, holding many books donated by citizens it offered knowledge. Adjacent to this in the Northwest corner we had our speakers circle where we had debates and talks, speakers included Dave Young and Jeroen Laureyns. Just beyond the borders of Ahland sat a form of Tourist information, which enlightened the viewer to the nature of the project. Discussing the notion of Micronations and even showing them geographically on a large scale map.
Unfortunately during the exhibition an event happened, Ahland suffered an attack. The politically neutral zone had political interests thrust upon it, and a substantial amount of damage befell the Kingdom. This was addressed appropriately through detailed analysis of the attack by the Ahlandian Department of Well Being. Fortunately Ahland survived the attack and will continue to exist and appear when possible to address new issues and help redefine how we interact with gallery spaces.