Undoubtedly, maps are fascinating objects. Their magnetism is universal. Their attractiveness comes from the illusion that they generate, from its great evocative power: the solitude of a remote island, the access to an unknown region the panoramic and omniscient vision. Maps show us what we do not know or help us see what we thought we knew. They are works of art and scientific instruments. They have some paint, some photography and some geometry. They serve to orient themselves and often to get lost.
All of them give shape and allow you to imagine priceless or remote things. There are the medieval world maps or the letters of discoveries. There are maps that collect non-existent places and others that reflect invisible phenomena.
Cartographies of the unknown exhibition is made up of more than 200 works including manuscript maps, engravings, atlases, nautical charts and many other documents, both from the National Library and from other Spanish institutions. The exhibition is divided into several sections that deal with the ideals of symmetry and the forms of the world, the incorporation of the unknown and the representation of imaginary places, images and information about the inhabitants of the globe, the relationships between geography, natural history and ethnography, and even about what maps silences and hides.
Cartographies of the unknown exhibition has two objectives: to get the viewer to focus more on the maps and less on the territories, and to show a tour of some of the most common resources and frequent themes in this field of knowledge.
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Location: Biblioteca Nacional (Paseo Recoletos, 20 – 22, 28071)
Dates: November 3rd 2017 until January 28th 2018
Hours: Tuesday -Saturday 10h-20h/Sundays & Festivals 10h-14h