Collaborative solo exhibition with Mitzi Pederson; Ellis Gallery; Pittsburgh PA, USA. 1999

Medium:  Fish, fishbowl, fishingline, water, Plexiglas cube, lightbulb

Dimensions:  25x25x15 feet

In Italo Calvino's 1972 novel Invisible Cities, a nomadic community marks memorable events in their lives by stretching strings across their rooms. When the strings become so numerous that they can no longer move through the space, the inhabitants pack up and rebuilt their city, Ersilia, elsewhere:

Thus, when traveling in the territory of Ersilia, you come upon the ruins of abandoned cities, without the walls which do not last, without the bones of the dead which the wind rolls away: spiderwebs of intricate relationships seeking a form.

The room is pitch dark save for a cube which glows with light and floats in the center of the space. The cube contains a fishbowl and several silver fish that dart around inside the entire space of the cube. As your eyes adjust to the darkness, you realize that the gallery is densely filled with hundreds of fishinglines, stretched taut across the space. The small aquatic creatures with their even smaller memories (3 seconds) find themselves trapped within the fishbowl then “liberated” into the larger cube, over and over again.

photos by: Lynn Lu