AIGA Philadelphia SPAce
Whoever controls the maps controls the world.
That’s the theory curator Yulia Tikhonova toys with in the exhibit “MAPnificent: Artists Use Maps,” which features more than a dozen artists.
“Mapping is a very political concept,” Tikhonova says. “Whenever new governments were established back in history, they always wanted to draw the map.”
The cartography-inspired pieces range from hand-drawn neighborhood maps to complex manipulations of Google Maps. Perhaps most interestingly, artist Karin Schaefer mapped the 9/11 disaster (shown, above), revealing how different neighborhoods were affected by it.
The exhibit reminds viewers that artists as well as governments can wield a lot of power when it comes to mapping the planet. But what about the companies behind online maps? If Google now controls many of the world’s maps, does that mean Google controls the world?
“Yeah,” Tikhonova says. “Of course.” Through March 31, opening Fri., Feb. 1, 6 p.m., 72 N. Second St., aigaphilly.org.
And Then There’s …
In the Painted Bride’s “Portraying Kinship,” Kim Alsbrooks pokes fun at rich white folks. She paints precious portraits of aristocrats on flattened aluminum cans. She shares the walls with local painter Helen Mirkil. Through March 17, opening Fri., Feb 1, 5 p.m., 230 Vine St., 215-925-9914, paintedbride.org. … What better way to understand our city than to explore others? The exhibit “Salaam Bombay: Beauty & Chaos in the Urban Environment,” which is showing at Twelve Gates Arts, delves into Mumbai. Through Feb. 25, opening Fri., Feb. 1, 5 p.m., 51 N. Second St., 215-253-8578, twelvegatesarts.org. … Gahee Park discovers her hippie roots in Marginal Utility’s show “Back to Nature.” Well, sort of. The painter indeed “takes us back to nature,” but “less as hikers in search of a view than as the contents of the sewer pipe, left to decompose back to its original state,” according to a statement. Through March 24, opening Fri., Feb. 1, 6 p.m., 319 N. 11th St., second floor, marginalutility.org.
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