Aleksandra Mir

Print/Out and Printin'

By Fine Books Magazine, New York, February 2012

19 February - 14 May 2012
MoMA - The Museum of Modern Art, New York

... Investigating the nature of networks and circulation, Aleksandra Mir (American/Swedish, b. Poland, 1967) has developed a practice that merges cultural anthropology and fine art, investigating social structures, globalization, and the contemporary urban experience. Mir’s elaborate mapping project Naming Tokyo (2003-present) is organized around her solicitation from friends and colleagues of names for Tokyo’s otherwise undesignated streets. Print/Out presents one of the incarnations of this project: blank maps of the city, with legends on the reverse offering proposed organizations for Tokyo’s neighborhoods and streets, according to her research and her friends’ suggestions. Another project, Venezia (all places contain all others) (2009), organized for the 2009 Venice Biennale, consisted of one million fake postcards—ten thousand each of one hundred designs—combining stock images of generic or well-known scenery (such as a picturesque harbor or the New York City skyline) with the Italian city’s name. Just as the colorful maps and playful descriptions of Naming Tokyo mask its underlying critique of colonialism, the Venezia postcards—free souvenirs within the Biennale grounds—explored ideas of tourism, cultural geography, and displacement. In all of her projects, the artist’s light-handed and witty approach to her material often belies the heavier cultural and political content that it invokes. ...