ELLIOT COLLINS

VALDRADA, 3 May - 4 June 2011
Inspired by the fictional lakeside city of Valdrada in Italo Calvino's novel Invisible Cities, a place where everything that occurs is repeated in its watery reflection, Elliot Collins' new work explores both landscape and language.

Whether by pairing discarded objects and books with revised and refined versions in collage and paint, or by incising phonetic text into impasto imaginary landscapes, the artist, with characteristic poetry and lightness of touch, encourages a consideration of memory, the history of art, and the way we live today.

ITALO CALVINO
Le Citta Invisibili
Giulio Einaudi (Editore) 1972

"The Ancients built Valdrada on the shores of a lake, with houses all verandas one above the other, and high streets whose railed parapets look out over the water. Thus the traveler, arriving, sees two cities: one erect above the lake, and the other reflected, upside down. Nothing exists or happens in the one Valdrada that the other Valdrada does not repeat, because the city was so constructed that its every point would be reflected in its mirror. And the Valdrada down in the water contains not only all the flutings and juttings of the facades that rise above the lake, but also the rooms' interiors with ceilings and floors, the perspective of the halls, the mirrors of the wardrobes.

At times the mirror increases a thing's value, at times denies it. Not everything that seems valuable above the mirror maintains its force when mirrored. The twin cities are not equal, because nothing that exists or happens in Valdrada is symmetrical: every face and gesture is answered, from the mirror, by a face and gesture inverted, point by point. The two Valdradas live for each other, their eyes interlocked; but there is no love between them".


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