Ciotat Studio, Urban Exquis II @ First Street Green, NYC, 2012. Photo: TODO DA
Urban Exquis III is a multichannel video and sound installation that depicts varying notions of public space in the contemporary city. It is inspired both by the exquisite corpse method of poetry and by Gordon Matta-Clark’s 1976 film City Slivers, in which the artist depicts New York City through a collection of masked views that fill only a portion of the film frame. The installation consists of original media composed by architects, urban planners, historians, and artists who regularly address urban issues. None of the artists will be aware of the other work until the installation is complete. In both methodology and form, Urban Exquis suggests that the identity of the city resides in simultaneity and adjacency, not in spatial and temporal unity. Like the city itself, it cannot be understood as a singular vision. It is fragmentary, elusive, frustrating, and (ultimately) beautiful in a way that eludes intention.