Infinite City is a new group exhibition featuring works from two private collections: the Zabludowicz Collection (located in London, New York, and Sarvisalo, Finland) and Kadist Art Foundation (located in San Francisco and Paris). The exhibition focuses on the city as material, site and situation for the contemporary lived experience. The featured artists are: Michel Auder, Slater Bradley, Martin Boyce, Philip-Lorca diCorcia, John Menick, Enrique Metinides, Yelena Popova, Amie Siegel and Kelley Walker.
The exhibition will travel to the Zabludowicz Collection in London after its presentation in San Francisco where it is on show until 14 December 2013 under the title City of Disappearances. Both exhibitions were curated by Elizabeth Neilson, director of the Zabludowicz Collection and Joseph del Pesco, director of the Kadist Art Foundation.
Infinite City involves three distinct but integrated elements: a solo display devoted to one artist from each collection, a new installation of works drawn from both collections, and a room in which artworks of different mediums are shown together.
From the Zabludowicz Collection comes a selection of hard-hitting reportage photographs by Enrique Metinides, who documented the transformation of Mexico City between 1949 and 1995. Metinides’s work captures the spectacle of tragedy with the classical Mexican affection for death. From the Kadist Art Foundation there is Berlin Remake (2005) by the New York–based artist Amie Siegel. This two-channel work juxtaposes 1940s films of Berlin with contemporary footage of the same locations, presenting a ghostly portrait of a city that has been a prominent protagonist in world conflict.
Another feature of the exhibition will be a newly configured sculptural installation by the Scottish artist Martin Boyce. Boyce references architectural and modernist design and materials to create environments that blend functionality and aesthetics, to uncanny effect.
The last section of the exhibition will combine 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 from the Kadist Art Foundation.
‘Does the city make the people, or do the people make the city?’ asks co-curator Elizabeth Neilson. ‘Whether we observe the formation of cities by their inhabitants or the formation of inhabitants by the cities in which they live, we recognize the city as a primary dilemma, a tension that is prevalent in all the works on view.’
Co-curator Joseph del Pesco says: ‘Variously recognisable in the exhibition are corporeal vanishings, filmic echoes from the past dissolving in the present, and contaminated memories. The exhibition argues for the insubstantiality of the city as a concrete material and conceptual container, proposing instead that numerous cities live but are eventually forgotten in the minds of its inhabitants.’
When the exhibition appeared in San Francisco, it was named City of Disappearances. The underlying concept is that in each city, the show takes its title from a book relating to the other location; the intent is to highlight the ways in which the title of an exhibition, and by extension the context in which artworks are exhibited, influences the show’s local reception. The two books that inspired these exhibition title choices are Iain Sinclair’s London: City of Disappearances (2006) and Rebecca Solnit’s Infinite City: A San Francisco Atlas (2010). Sinclair calls his book an ‘anthology of absence’ and it includes writings by more than a dozen authors. Solnit’s book is a series of color maps created in collaboration with artists, writers, and cartographers to illuminate diverse aspects of San Francisco, its history and its inhabitants.
Infinite City will run concurrently with a solo exhibition by New York-based artist Trisha Baga. Baga’s exhibition will take over the central space of the Zabludowicz Collection and will feature new work alongside a series of installations from the Collection.