This Must Be the Place

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Sometimes it takes leaving a place to actually get a good look at it. Yukie Kamiya, Associate Curator at the New Museum in New York, had this notion in mind when she organized City/Observer, an online exhibition that explores urban space through the intimate perspectives - memories, conversations or personal experiences - of six migrant artists. Brooklyn-based Icelandic artist Katrin Sigurdardottir considers the architectural history of her hometown in "Unbuilt Residencies in Reykjavik, 1920-1930" (2005), a blog that documents her fabrication and subsequent destruction of miniature houses modeled after unconsummated plans for residential development in Reykjavik. "Virtual Urban" (2000) traces an email correspondence between Aisling O'Beirn and Marjetica Potrc, in which the two artists discuss a possible collaboration involving their cities of residence, Belfast and Ljubljana respectively, and mull over points of commonality or disjunction, and ways the two areas fit into larger patterns of globalization. Another layer of migration lies in the fact that City/Observer marks the first time that Kamiya and two of the featured artists have worked on the Internet, a foray that offers a fresh take on art practices that cross virtual and off-line spaces. - Lauren Cornell