‘The city, however, does not tell its past, but contains it like the lines of a hand, written in the corners of the streets, the gratings of the windows, the banisters of the steps, the antennae of the lightning roads, the poles of the flags, every segment marked in turn with scratches, indentations, scrolls.’
Italo Calvino, Invisible Cities (1972)

The title of the exhibition: ‘like the lines of a hand’, is taken from the novel Invisible Cities by Italian writer Italo Calvino, published in Italy in 1972. It is the starting point for a group of 18 UK based artists, chosen by PAPER and C4RD (Centre for Recent Drawing) in London.

Each artist chose a line, a brief passage, or a chapter title from the book, which explores layers of imagined and fictional vistas through the descriptions of cities by an explorer, Marco Polo. The book itself consists of brief prose poems describing 55 fictitious cities but which are all actually just descriptions of one city, Venice.

The chosen pieces of text, highlighting the dialogue with Invisible Cities, acts as a discrete, non-linear curatorial discourse between the works in the exhibition by the chosen group of artists. The individual works in ‘like the lines of a hand’, often reference and play with the complexities of inventive language and narrative, explored in Invisible Cities.
Original languageEnglish
Media of outputOnline
Publication statusPublished - 2017


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