Curated by Mark Dion
David Brooks, Sanna Kannisto, Till Krause, James Prosek and Laurent Tixador & Abraham Poincheval
One shudders at the notion of contemporary travel. Images of the dreaded middle seat on a stale and stingy American Airlines flight haunt the imagination. Delays, discomfort, and duty meld with a vague sense of guilt for contributing to the carbon glut. This exhibition however has nothing to say about the banalities and petty betrayals of the business and holiday traveler, rather it focuses on a collection of international artists for whom travel is still an adventure, and is celebrated as the most profound way of knowing.
For the artists featured in Strange Travelers the notion of going places retains a sense of the marvelous. Their sense of travel is recognizable in the works of Jules Verne, Jacques Cousteau, and Paul Bowles. The journeys they consider and undertake recognize the complex and often grim historical realities, and are not without risk, however they are accompanied by the certainty of wonder the potential of discovery. Bound by an understanding of travel as a sophisticated technology of knowing, these artists also share a core commitment to placing themselves in the field. The voyage itself may be emphasized and the destination is less of a goal but rather a strategic and provisional excuse for extending the journey.