Marco Polo Essay

I decided to build upon some of the themes from the exhibition and Calvino’s book in my essay, and to apply its ideas to the work of various contemporary artists in whose work I am interested, as well as to some of my own work and the issues I am trying to address.Italo Calvino’s ‘Invisible Cities’ is a collection of surreal short stories about cities visited by the traveller Marco Polo, places where people act, depict and consider things that make no sense or are impossible.

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The signs are communicating to the viewer in well-premeditated language and form and in its communication, signs are influencing and (re) forming viewer’s opinions.

Another Calvino’s short story is about city of Fedora, in which city centre is the metal building with a crystal globe in every room, so everybody can have a look in the globe and can see different (desired) Fedora.

This reminds me of work of Sarah Sze called ‘Second Means of Egress (Orange)’ from ‘State of Play’ exhibition.

This is a vision of Rist’s world of wrappings of various disposable objects one buys daily – white or translucent plastic bags, shovels, toothbrushes and its shadows mixed with wild nature of powerful ocean’s waves.

My photographs of billboards with cutout commercial messages are about the same issue – the issue of consumerism within contemporary cities that results in alienation of the consumer as well as the producer who becomes also a consumer on the other ‘end’ of the circle.


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