INVISIBLE CITIES

"Cities, like dreams, are made of desires and fears, even if the thread of their discourse is secret, their rules are absurd, their perspectives deceitful, and everything conceals something  else."

-Italo Calvino     

      

Corridor 2122 will present Invisible Cities, featuring works by LUNA Art Collective: Leslie Batty, Nicole Brauch, Ananda Kesler, Ivana Minafra, and Alexandra Rouard from May 7 through May 28.

 

An artist’s reception for the exhibition will take place during the May ArtHop event on Thursday, May 7th from 5 to 8 p.m. In harmony with the exhibition theme of travel, culture and cities, all but one of the artists from the collective will be traveling long distances to Fresno from various cities to attend the reception.

As a group of five international women artists from various geographic vantage points, this collective has taken on the adventurous task of bringing our individual viewpoints together into a forum where we are able to consider and gain insight from alternate feminine world views, honor and learn from our differences, and experiment with ideas as an international art collaborative. In this current project, we have chosen as our point of reference a specific piece of literature, Italo Calvino’s Invisible Cities, an idiosyncratic and ironic form of social criticism.

Published in 1972, this richly descriptive narrative consists of a sequence of imaginary conversations between the Italian explorer Marco Polo and the emperor of 13th century China, Kublai Khan. Over the course of their dialogues, the young Polo describes a series of imagined cities – some futuristic, some physical impossibilities – each of which is identified with a woman's name, and each of which is strikingly different from all the others. Although Calvino uses historical figures for his main characters, this dreamlike novel can neither be considered historical fiction, fantasy, science fiction, nor magic realism. Perhaps this work can best be described as an imaginative “exploration” — sometimes playful, sometimes melancholic — of the powerful and the powerless, of identity construction and the Other, and of the fate of human culture itself.

Members of the collective consider various aspects and implications of Calvino’s work, each drawing different conclusions on its themes and representations, including the feminine symbolism of the city, as well as the absence of a feminine voice in the narrative. Through this project, we present our collective voices into a dynamic conversation.

Opening of Invisible Cities at Corridor 2122, Fresno, California