Of what is, that it is; of what is not, that it is not, 2
In collaboration with the Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago, the Smart Museum of Art presents a vast (approximately 11 x 38 feet) tapestry by London-based Polish artist Goshka Macuga.
Of what is, that it is; of what is not, that it is not is a two-part work commissioned for the recent dOCUMENTA (13). It is comprised of two photo-based black-and-white tapestries that are to be exhibited simultaneously but never together in the same place. Part 1, originally shown in Kassel, Germany and presented at the MCA as part of the survey Goshka Macuga: Exhibit, A (December 15, 2012–April 7, 2013), depicts a diverse crowd of Afghans and Westerners in front of Darul Aman Palace outside of Kabul, Afghanistan. Part 2, originally exhibited in Kabul, and on view in the Smart's reception hall, shows an art-world crowd and protesters gathering outside of the Orangerie in Kassel. Both scenes are conceived as complementary halves of an elusive truth.
This is the first time the diptych will be shown in separate art institutions within one city; the exhibition at the MCA marks the artist’s first museum survey in the United States.