Mira Dayal's ...In that Empire, the Art of Cartography attained such Perfection that the map of a single Province occupied the entirety of a City, and the map of the Empire, the entirety of a Province. In time, those Unconscionable Maps no longer satisfied, and the Cartographers Guilds struck a Map of the Empire whose size was that of the Empire, and which coincided point for point with it. The following Generations, who were not so fond of the Study of Cartography as their Forbearers had been, saw that that vast Map was Useless, and not without some Pitilessness was it, that they delivered it up to the Inclemencies of Sun and Winters. In the Deserts of the West, still today, there are Tattered Ruins of that Map, inhabited by Animals and Beggars; in all the Land there is no other Relic of the Disciplines of Geography. –Suárez Miranda, Viajes de varones prudentes, Libro IV, Cap. XLV, Lérida, 1658., featured in The Art Newspaper's "Three Exhibitions to see in New York this Weekend" along with Okwui Enwezor at the New Museum and Peter Joseph at Lisson Gallery. Text by Wallace Ludel.
"Mira Dayal’s installation is named for Jorge Luis Borges’s short story "On Exactitude in Science." The show’s title is, in fact, the entirety of the four sentence-long story, which tells the tale of a map sized at a one-to-one scale to the land it delineates, rendering it both incredibly accurate and entirely useless. Like the story, the show poses a number of poignant questions into not only the history of mapmaking and colonisation, but also the very concept of place and our relationship to it. The entire gallery floor has been rubbed by hand with a layer of graphite, laboriously creating a one-to-one topography of the space itself, which tells us both everything and nothing about it. Mounted above the floor are 12 fans that allude to the 12 winds—an ancient geographic system first laid out by Aristotle—and a real weathervane outside the gallery triggers individual fans on and off, based on the direction of the wind. That something so grand as wind can be replicated here at a human scale, with some hardwired metal fans and a weathervane, speaks to the comic implausibility of the world, our attempts to master it, and the endless reach of our desire as we pass through it."