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Beneath the Moon II: Journey Through the City

The San Diego Museum of Art has explored aspects of urban life in various ways -- through the 2011 Summer Salon Series theme “What does a city need?”, through the gritty depictions of cities in this year’s German Expressionism exhibition, and now through an interactive exhibition from the Centre Pompidou in Paris.

Titled “Beneath the Moon II: Journey Through the City,” the free exhibition is the first experience to take place in a new permanent welcome center at the Museum that UT San Diego writer Jim Chute described earlier this month. The welcome center reflects a trend among museums to offer select experiences outside their walls (or in this case, inside, but free) to reach broader audiences and experiment with new ways of engaging with visitors.

"Our international relationships are key in expanding the variety of art here in San Diego, and offering this interactive experience free to the public provides invaluable access for all,” said Executive Director Roxana Velásquez in a statement.

For this all-ages exhibition, Spanish sculptor and living artist Miquel Navarro re-purposed his sculpture "Beneath the Moon II" as an opportunity for all to learn the fundamental concepts of a city.

Spread out across the gallery floor, the installation consists of a sculpture that has been deconstructed into 1,000-pieces in order to resemble a city seen from above. Only seven of these thousand pieces are secured to the ground, allowing visitors to develop their own city by rearranging features, landscapes, and structures. It’s a bit like a more free-flowing and hands-on version of the workshops that the San Diego Foundation led to help San Diegans imagine our region in 2050.

SDMA Journey

Miquel Navarro. Beneath the Moon II: Journey through the City, 1994. Game/artwork. Commissioned by the
Centre Pompidou, Paris.  © Museo de la Ciudad, Mexico.

SDMA Journey

The exhibition has traveled to 25 cities in France, Italy, Switzerland, Belgium, South Korea, China, and Mexico. This is
its first stop in the United States.

SDMA Journey

Workshops will be held on weekends for the public, and during the week by appointment for school groups. On February 13, the Museum will host a panel discussion on urban planning that will feature Paris-based architect Leo Orellana and San Diego architects Michael Stepner and Eric Naslund.

Learn more about the exhibition and workshop themes through the Museum’s website

--Maren Dougherty

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