Gulliver’s Travels, A Voyage to Lilliput
We are happy to invite you to “underSTOOD", our first Exhibition as ROCKELMANN & PARTNER, co-curated by Priscilla Fusco and Ben Peterson. “underSTOOD” is a traveling exhibition that started at Hunter College, New York, before making its way to our Berlin location. The exhibition will then make its final stop at our new location in Albuquerque, NM, early next year.
The curators were Inspired by Gulliver’s first two voyages and playfully explore and honor the egalitarian by presenting a selection of miniature artworks by over fifty artists.
“The emperor stipulates to allow me a quantity of meat and drink sufficient for the support of 1728 Lilliputians…his majesty’s mathematicians, having taken the height of my body by the help of a quadrant, and finding it to exceed their’s in the proportion of twelve to one…concluded from the similarity of their bodies, that mine must constitute at least 1728 of theirs and consequently would require as much food as was necessary to support that number of Lilliputians.”
--Jonathan Swift, Gulliver’s Travels, A Voyage to Lilliput
Jonathan Swift brought his explorer Lemuel Gulliver into the land of Lilliput, where the satirist symbolically reduced early 18th century British political and religious concerns to absurdist trivialities. Swift used Gulliver’s large stature to simplify the complex anxieties and concerns of the tiny Lilliputians and their world.
In Gulliver’s second voyage he accidentally encountered the inhabitants of Brobdingnag. The giant Brobdingnag people towered over Gulliver, his diminutive stature was now a device for understanding society’s corruption from below. Through Gulliver’s mirrored and contrasting narratives, Swift both encapsulated and expanded the reader’s awareness of England’s cultural dysfunctions.
Inspired by Gulliver’s first two voyages, we playfully explore and honor the egalitarian by presenting a traveling exhibition of miniature artworks by over fifty artists. When standing over the exhibition, we are granted a dubious view, the unlimited ceiling simplifies the qualities between the individual pieces below. Comparatively, the artworks are also looking up at us to see our magnified flaws and imperfections in the understructure of the gallery. Like Swift’s comparisons, the different perspectives within the exhibition’s design allow for a multitude of interactions between the artworks to be imagined and understood.
Priscilla Fusco and Ben Peterson, 2018