From Across Bodies of Water and Other Transient Objects
In Italo Calvino’s Invisible Cities, Kublai Khan often contemplates the map of his conquest and of the promised lands, not yet discovered.
His map illustrates continent by continent, the borders and various routes to reach them. The Great Khan asserts that countries are better described on the map as their shapes and boundaries are clearly defined.
Marco Polo on the other hand observes that the map highlights the difference between countries, whereas travelling blurs the boundaries. He regards travelling as the best way to understand a place or a country. When one travels, the country takes shapeless or intangible qualities. All countries are interconnected one way or another; either through routes or shared qualities. The differences disappear.
The world map has been drawn and redrawn since it was created, affecting how people define identities, place, belonging, and structure political power in geographic terms. The increasing encroachment of humans on the natural environment and artificiality of places in which we live and work also mean that many of us have to make a conscious effort to experience wild places first hand.
These places exist out there, independent of our thinking about them, yet so much of a person’s, or people’s core ideologies can be shaped by the land on where their feet first touched the earth. Can home be more than a place? How can place manifest in space through art? How do we ascribe value to place? This exhibition seeks to identify where transience and home can co-exist, as well as the connections or shared qualities between cross cultural identities through the vehicle of contemporary textiles and multi-media.
Artists: Wesley John Fourie & Rozana Lee