The Valise, a collective artists’ project, unites seven South American artists—Johanna Calle, Mateo López and Nicolás Paris, Maria Laet, Rosângela Rennó, Matías Duville, and Christian Vinck Henriquez—with the Argentine writer César Aira. This exhibition presents a selection of artworks from the printed edition, published by the Library Council of The Museum of Modern Art. The works were made in response to the idea of travel and to Aira’s novel Un episodio en la vida del pintor viajero (An Episode in the Life of a Landscape Painter), both the original Spanish edition (2000) and the English translation (2006) on view here. The novel concerns the surreal story of an 1837 journey through South America by the German painter Johann Moritz Rugendas, an associate of the explorer and naturalist Alexander von Humboldt. Designed to fit in a special valise (carrying case), the works include original prints, maps, artists’ books, airmail envelopes, origami toys, posters, a sound recording, and a handblown glass sculpture, all reflecting the artists’ shared affinity for geography, travel literature, and bookmaking.
Organized by May Castleberry, Editor, Contemporary Editions, Library Council Publications, with Jennifer Tobias, Reader Services Librarian, The Museum of Modern Art.