boston

Elizabeth Diller and Ricardo Scofidio

M.I.T. List Visual Arts Center

Currently on its second stop in a traveling tour of four cities, Elizabeth Diller and Ricardo Scofidio’s installation constitutes a magnificently obsessive analysis of travel, sightseeing, and art’s seductive role in the burgeoning industry of tourism.

Influenced by an ambitious range of ideas and images, including travel writing and leisure theory, postcards and collectibles, not to mention its own status as an art event booked to travel, the exhibition is conceived around a standard module: a ubiquitous vinyl Samsonite suitcase. From a plywood drop-ceiling, 50 bags suspended from poles at eye level are arranged five across and ten deep. Each suitcase is partially open to reveal devices adapted to signify individual historical sites and tourist attractions. In both the top and the bottom compartments of each valise small clamps hold plates of glass. The bottom sheets are etched with maps

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