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© Courtesy of the artist & Utah Museum of Contemporary Art

20 West South Temple
Salt Lake City, UT 84102
June 5th, 2012 - September 15th, 2012

United States
Tue - Thu & Sat 11am to 6pm, Fri 11am to 9pm


Situated between Homer, Twitter, and the singing telegram, Cantastoria is an exploration of how contemporary artists communicate histories and culture using languages, messengers, and witnesses as creative material. This exhibition explores the notion of the cantastoriaas a metaphor across cultures and specifically within contemporary art.

Historically, cantastoria, which means “history singer” or “sung story” in Italian, were prominent in preliterate culture as vehicles for transmitting news, heritage, and history. Their information was conveyed theatrically in a town square through song and pictograms.

Revisiting conventional formats of history painting and narrative-driven compositions, Cantastoria presents artworks that communicate information through languages, song, storytelling, and lyricism. It analyzes origins and relationships with news media while touching on languages born out of cultural specificities of Utah itself or contemporary activism onto parallel and bygone eras such as the former USSR. Other artists reconnect us with dead and dying languages that are no longer understood as well as putting us in contact with those languages beyond our Earth. It is a way to look at how we transmit information, reminisce about languages of communication that are lost and obsolete, while exploring new pathways of connection that are emerging around us.

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