Infinite City is an exhibition exploring the city as material, site and situation for the contemporary lived experience. Curated by Elizabeth Neilson, Director, Zabludowicz Collection and Joseph del Pesco, Director, Kadist Art Foundation, the project was initiated as a collaboration between two significant international contemporary art collections.
Works by nine international artists are drawn in equal measure from the two collections, encompassing a diverse range of media and approaches. Linking these artworks together is the question of whether cities are shaped by their inhabitants, or if inhabitants are shaped by the cities in which they live.
Since 2007 the majority of the world's population has been urban. The physical and spatial experience of a city is a global language —a language of architecture and affluence, crowds and traffic, poverty and noise. Whether we extol or condemn particular features of a certain city, it feels increasingly urgent to consider the multiple meanings 'the city' might contain.
Infinite City involves three distinct but integrated elements: a solo display devoted to one artist from each collection, and a room in which artworks of different mediums are shown together. From the Kadist Art Foundation there is Berlin Remake (2005) by the New York–based artist Amie Siegel; this two-channel work juxtaposes preexisting films of Berlin with contemporary footage of the same locations. From the Zabludowicz Collection comes the hard-hitting reportage Mexico City–based photographer Enrique Metinides.
The show includes a newly configured sculptural installation by the Scottish artist Martin Boyce, and video, painting, and photography by Slater Bradley, Yelena Popova, and Kelley Walker from the Zabludowicz Collection and Michel Auder, Philip-Lorca diCorcia, and John Menick and Amie Siegel from the Kadist Art Foundation.
Two books acted as catalysts for the curatorial framework of the exhibition - Iain Sinclair's London: City of Disappearances (2006) and Rebecca Solnit's Infinite City (2010). Sinclair's sprawling “anthology of absence" includes texts by 60 contributors, and is richly evocative of London as an ever-shifting stage for personal narratives. Solnit's Infinite City is an almanac of maps and essays created in collaboration with artists, writers, and cartographers to illuminate diverse aspects of San Francisco's social and political history. Both authors explore the ebb and flow of the spacial and psychological development of a city, and the antagonisms and tensions that emerge.
Writing about the exhibition Joseph del Pesco says:
There are many “cities of shadows" (to borrow Sinclair's term) that appear in the exhibition, recognizable as corporeal vanishings, filmic echoes from the past dissolving in the present, and contaminated memories. The photographs, videos, paintings, and sculptures evoke the personal experience of the individual in the city, cinematic fictions of the city as idea, and aesthetic distillations of the glow and texture of the urban.
This exhibition has toured to London after being shown under the title City of Disappearances at CCA Wattis, San Francisco, 10 September – 14 December 2013.
Curated by Elizabeth Neilson of the Zabludowicz Collection and Joseph del Pesco of the Kadist Art Foundation.
About Kadist Art Foundation
The Kadist Art Foundation encourages the contribution of the arts to society, conducting programs primarily with artists represented in its collection to promote their role as
cultural agents. Kadist's programs develop collaborations between its local contexts (Paris, San Francisco), artists, curators, and art institutions worldwide. Read more at kadist.org.