Curatorial Note

This project was introduced to us 6 weeks ago and kept unfolding as the weeks went by. We started of with reading the book “Invisible cities” by Italo Calvino which then became the foundation of our project.

Each of us had to choose one favourite passage from the book and that is when I chose Adelma. The whole process of slicing Adelma into smaller pieces helped me unravel the metaphor behind this city. I had two completely different understandings of the text from the first time and the last time that I read it. We segmented the city by understanding it from a different lens every time. The lens we looked at were memory, constructed space and semiotics. We analysed the passage through each of these and made visuals from our perspective of memory, constructed space and semiotics. By this time we had understood all the different elements that come together to bring out the essence of this passage.

After breaking down the text, we used all these findings to create a narrative of our own with the same foundation as Calvino’s passage. It was surprising how easy it became to write a narrative as we had all the ingredients ready already.

There was an evident connection between our studio and seminar work as both would be spineless without each other. Only when we wrote a narrative or a reflection of the text could we turn it into a visual and further into a cut out.

The narrative I wrote for Adelma was transformed into a tunnel book which had all the elements of constructed space, memory and semiotics. My Tunnel Book looks like a kaleidoscope (visually the city looks like that to Calvino) where each slide is actually a memory of Calvino. I have analysed the text as the dead actually being a metaphor for the all the experiences and memories that he has. I have tried to portray that how each memory on its own evokes several different emotions, but when you put all these memories together, they form a sort of a void that hypnotises him into dying. My Tunnel Book supports this concept, with each slide illustrating a new memory and all these memories fitting together giving the effect of a kaleidoscope.  The whole idea was to show how as Calvino goes further into the city, and passes each memory, he loses a little life each time and you see him dead in the last slide. This city is basically a city of realisation and deception. He discovers himself dead only when he is done exploring the city.

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