In Visible Cities

A photo book by Diana Artus
Based on the book “Invisible Cities” by Italo Calvino

– It is the mood of the beholder which gives the city its form. (Italo Calvino, Invisible Cities)

Paying a tribute to Italo Calvino’s book Invisible Cities, Diana Artus explores today’s ‘visible cities’. In Calvino’s novel Marco Polo reports Kublai Khan on 55 phantastic cities he had seen during his journeys. Each of this cities is described as a poetic metaphor of a certain situation in life or an emotional condition. Calvino classifies them using 11 different categories.
Taking a similar approach Diana Artus is strolling through and gazing at cities looking for the visual traces of such imaginary and phantasmatic places which are subtly overlaying and pervading the real contemporary urban sceneries. Adopting Calvino’s categories of cities she selected 55 photographs from her archive, whose sequence is given by the original book and its table of contents. Keeping parts of the text very dimmed in the background and the title plain and clear on each page, she superimposes a photography she took in a city somewhere around the globe – from Mexico City, to NY, Toronto, London, or Istanbul – creating a contemporary visual journey through urbanity.

Interview with Blonde Art Books about the making of In Visible Cities


Artist book, 144 pages, Inkjet pigment printing on Freelife Vellum 120g paper, Paperback with special mesh cover.
Published by Plan Bey (Beirut) in cooperation with Berlin Beirut Multiples (Berlin) in spring 2013
Printed, hand-bound and manufactured in Beirut.
Limited edition of 300