Description - City of Salt by Nicholas Kahn
City of Salt is the second volume - following Scotlandfuturebog (2002) - in an extraordinary trilogy by Nicholas Kahn and Richard Selesnick. The two have been collaborating for over a decade to create evocative, multilayered fictions. They start by conceiving an alternative reality, then construct finely detailed three-dimensional miniatures and dioramas to give it physical form. Using digital photography, they position elaborately costumed actors within this imaginary world, creating complex and often allegorical tableaux. In City of Salt, their stunning panoramic photographs are juxtaposed with compelling narratives inspired by traditional Sufi tales, the writings of Italo Calvino, and the artists' own existentialist parables. Divided into five chapters - Book of Sand, Book of Fur, Book of Musk, Book of Tea, and Book of Salt - the book explores an illusory desert land and chronicles the experiences of its diverse inhabitants. Poetic and perplexing, the staged scenes conjure up a mythical Middle Eastern civilization, set in an indeterminate past somewhere between pre-urban and postcolonial.
Originally conceived in the late 1990s, the project took on darker hues following the events of September 11.
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Book Reviews - City of Salt by Nicholas Kahn
Author Biography - Nicholas Kahn
NICHOLAS KAHN and RICHARD SELESNICK, born in New York City and London, respectively, have been collaborating for more than a decade. Their work is in the Smithsonian Institution; Brooklyn Museum; Museum of Fine Arts, Houston; and Philadelphia Museum of Art; as well as many private collections. Residents of the New York region, they are represented by Yancey Richardson in New York; Pepper Gallery, Boston; and Paul Kopeikin, Los Angeles.