Pivoting around the symbolism, associations and format of the postcard and carte de visite, this exhibition is a collective project that brings together artists from around the world to share and celebrate intercultural connection and artistic engagement. The title SITE VISIT refers to the importance of place, but also to the way we now visit online sites in place of physical meetings. It is a play on words with carte de visite as well as a play on the dynamic of sight/site and being in a place physically or virtually. This exhibition hopes to bring together artists from around the world with a shared understanding of the power of place, creative power and a nostalgia for the people and conversations that were had, at a time when we could be together in person.
Postcards are ways that we can connect with each other, or connect ourselves with the place they’re from as keepsakes. Perhaps they connect us with the person we were ourselves, when in a particular place. Maybe it’s the only way we can purchase an artwork at our current budget - a photographic rendering on a small card - yet it is a way to bring a part of the trip and art back to our homes.
The carte de visite is one of the earliest examples of a postcard - where instead of a letter accompanied by small illustrations or keepsakes - an photograph and an accompanying caption was used to present a place, a people, an experience. The carte de visite was patented in Paris. It offered one of the earliest ways to record and keep memories of places through photography. The trend of collecting images and the portraits of loved ones, celebrities and places became ubiquitous through the carte de visite - because of its format and relative accessibility from being inexpensive. Adapted from a calling card, and later transforming into a business card, the carte de visite was a means of person to person connection, passed from hand to hand in its manageable size. In this way there is a divergence between the function of a carte de visite as a signifier of presence and meeting through exchange, and the postcard as a symbol of journeying and distance being travelled.
This exhibition is intended to become a continuous project connecting together artists from different continents, contexts and cultural experiences.
The proceeds from sales go directly to the artists, including 10% collected towards the residency scholarship fund to enable future artists to benefit from our programs.
Graphic design: Anastasia Venkova