Titled after Italo Calvino’s beloved book – which imagines Marco Polo’s vivid descriptions of numerous cities of a fading empire to Kublai Khan – the exhibition features the work of ten diverse artists who re-imagine urban landscapes both familiar and fantastical. Like Marco Polo’s poetic imagery, which leaves the reader wondering if the cities he describes are real or perhaps all different versions of his own Venetian home, the works in the show explore how our perceptions of place are shaped by personal influences as diverse as memory, desire, and loss, as well as by cultural forces such as history and the media.
The featured works range from the representational to the abstract, reminding us that any city is as much an idea or psychological and emotional experience as an assemblage of asphalt, brick, steel, and glass. The artists translate various cities – or the impressions that they conjure — in charcoal, paint, wallpaper, plaster, soap, and even light and sound, reminding us of the role all the senses play in knowing or remembering place.
Artists: Lee Bul, Carlos Garaicoa, Sopheap Pich, Diana Al Hadid, Francesco Simeti, Miha Strukelj, Kim Faler, Mary Lum
Site: Carlos Garaicoa
Title: Invisible Cities
Place: MASS MoCA
Country: United Sttes of America
Date: Apr 14, 2012–Mar 1, 2013