We began by reading an analysing the book ‘Invisible Cities’ by Italo Calvino and were then asked to choose a story. I picked out ‘Trading Cities 4, Ersilia’ as my passage. It was a city wherein each house was connected by strings to each other, and every time the number of strings led to chaos, the entire city tore down the buildings, leaving only the supports, and migrated to another area where they rebuilt the city. I then wrote three different passages – one depicting the story of an imaginary character within the city, one depicting the same through the lens of memory, and another depicting it through the lens of architecture. Each passage was supported by a silhouette. My story spoke about a man who had chosen to stay behind during the migration and was now trapped within all the strings in the city. We then merged all the writing pieces to construct one final text. This too was supported by a silhouette. We then broke down each silhouette into different layers and put them together in a three dimensional box, creating a story through layers of silhouettes.
My box attempts to show a torn string, hanging onto to each part by its strands. Each strand represents a relationship, shown by the hand-like structures at the torn edges of the box. It is upon these strands that the city is built. This symbolizes the fact that relationships and friendships are the foundation upon which our life is built. In the middle of all these strings is a heart, representing the man trapped within all these strings. One of the strands is thicker and stronger – this strand are his memories, which he remembers as he is lying under all those strings.
The making of this box was an intense experience. Not only did it improve my writing, it also worked on my paintings skills as well as cutting skills. I also learnt how to extrude a two dimensional visual into a three dimensional form and to visualize how a form will look upon execution.