Invisible Cities/Imaginary Lands is a curatorial project of Diana Marincu, organised by Contrasens Cultural Association in cooperation with Georgia Țidorescu and Glad Carpencu-Pop. The exhibition (included the White Night of Art Galleries programme) is open at the Timisoara Garrison Command, from 15 October to 15 November 2021.

The project is based on the visual and conceptual research and analysis of legendary places shrouded in mystery, which have generated exploratory journeys, stories and visual projections over time. The exhibition is structured around the duality of the mythology of knowledge and creation, where making a choice marks the creation of a new set of values that determine the development of a new identity detached from stereotypes and foreseeable existential paths.

The artists displaying at the Invisible Cities/Imaginary Lands exhibition are Ana Adam, Silvia Amancei & Bogdan Armanu, Apparatus 22, Marius Bercea, Adrian Câtu, Jasmina Cibic, Yona Friedman, kinema ikon / Alex Halka & George Săbău, Thea Lazăr, Diana Lelonek, Liliana Mercioiu-Popa, Anca Munteanu Rimnic, Ciprian Mureșan, Michael Takeo Magruder, Cristian Rusu, Diana Vidrașcu, Sorin Vreme. Special video inserts: Matthew Barney, Camille Henrot, Mike Kelley, Gordon Matta-Clark, Nam June Paik. 

Inside the exhibition area, the visitor can follow two routes. The first is Terminal A, the Invisible Cities, is a metaphorical confrontation of a traumatic past with unknown, marginalised, forgotten or disappeared territories, marking a rupture, a reconfiguration of identity. It is an analogy with the novel Invisible Cities by Italo Calvino, who analyses the sublime effect that only ruin can trigger and its impact on identity transformations.

The second route, Terminal B, leads to the Imaginary lands of fantasy that offer a chance to escape from reality, but also to return to it; utopia meets dystopia in a universe where everything is possible. The numerous nuances of this journey, in which critical instruments look at reality through a fine filter, enrich imagination as an instrument of knowledge. The desire and the need to make the collective consciousness aware of the imaginary nostalgic places of a possible earthly paradise are closely related to the promise of a revealing journey. The two “boarding” terminals include visual and conceptual routes marked by the works of the guest artists and a selection of historical videos, each of them distinctively emblematic of the transformations of contemporary visuality.

The exhibition is organised by Contrasens Cultural Association and funded by the Administration of the National Cultural Fund, Timișoara City Hall and Timiș County Council. Invisible Cities/Imaginary Lands enjoys the support of Eletronic Arts Intermix, Kamel Mennour, n.b.k. (New Berlin Art Society), Faculty of Arts and Design Timișoara, having Art Encounters Foundation as strategic partner. Other partners: the Directorate for Culture of the Timiș County, the French Institute, Hotel de Savoya. Media partners: Agerpres, IQads, Smark, Timișoara News, Modernism, Arta Magazine, Radio Romania Timișoara, TVR Timișoara.