That Shimmering Beast at The Empty Quarter
Miyuki Okyuama - Miami and Naval Port
From The Empty Quarter
We humans like to think we can control cities because we are the ones building them, but trying to comprehend their living essence, all we grasp is thin air. The city, that entity which lies beneath the web of codes and signs we weave, reveals itself only in glimpses, in instants separated by intervals, in the glint of light in the fog, in the shadows of our dreams. Its essence flits through our minds like a beast shimmering in the thicket. Now you see it, now you don’t, but you sense its presence. “You can hunt for it,” Marco Polo tells the Great Khan in Italo Calvino’s Invisible Cities, ”but only in the way I have said”.
Virgilio Ferreira - Untitled (Uncanny Places)
This is the beast we see shimmering, scattered, fragmented, but eerily present nonetheless in the work of Virgilio Ferreira, Miyuki Okuyama and Mehrdad Naraghi. They each hunt in their own way, following its trail, exploring the tracks it leaves behind, either in their inner selves or out on the streets.
Planted in our consciousness like seeds, these images grow over time, pollinating our imagination. As cognitive organisms they branch out to reach a point of contact with one another, and another web of meaning and ideas is woven. Suddenly, we are overcome by the strange sensation of knowing something, without quite knowing what that thing might be. We look again, and for a moment we see it staring straight at us from their work, that shimmering beast. Then, in the blink of an eye, it is gone again.