Illusive Spaces: The Art of Mary Miss

IN A SHORT TEXT, “Of Exactitude in Science,” Jorge Luis Borges recounts the tale of an Empire where

. . . the craft of Cartography attained such Perfection that the Map of a Single province covered the space of an entire City, and the Map of the Empire itself an entire Province. In the course of Time, these extensive maps were found somehow wanting, and so the College of Cartographers evolved a Map of the Empire that was of the same Scale as the Empire and that coincided with it point for point.1

For more than a decade Mary Miss has conceived and constructed a variety of singular works that in certain respects are akin to the life-sized maps of Borges’ mythical Empire. Such works are really situations, in that they do not depend on visual perception alone but chart a more thorough multisensory experience, the apprehension of space.

In the mid-1960s Miss began to explore and discover a

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