Leslie Hirst
La Menzogna
2015
snapshots of skies in lightboxes
89.5 x 84 inches
"La menzogna non è nel discorso, è nelle cose."

- from Italo Calvino's Invisible Cities.

In a fictitious dialog between the Venetian explorer, Marco Polo, and the great Kublai Kahn, Polo attempts to describe Kahn's vast empire using keepsakes from his travels. Polo claims:
"Falsehood is never in words, it is in things."

The concept for this installation grew from ongoing project research conducted on the island of Burano, Italy, located in the Venetian lagoon. Witnessing the impact of global trade and tourism on the fragile ecological, social and economic structure of Burano and other idyllic travel destinations prompted a deeper investigation into the stories of objects, places, and the people who ritualize them.

Known for its beautiful, colored houses and equally brilliant laundry suspended among them, the subjects of these back-lit images are typical of those captured by the hundreds who daily step onto and off of the island of Burano. These images, however, (which are not altered except for the removal of the structures and laundry), reveal that voice and void are concurrent forces.