SCIENTIA CIVITATIS: MISSING TITLES
November 2014 – March 2015

Hugh Lane Gallery
The installation Scientia Civitatis: Missing Titles presents 48 books about the city that as yet do not exist.

The work forms part of the exhibition Phoenix Rising, Art and the Civic Imagination at the Hugh Lane Gallery Dublin. Referencing Dublin’s 1914 Civic Exhibition, the exhibition was inspired by the work of Scottish biologist, sociologist and planner Patrick Geddes (1854 – 1932), and presents a number of contemporary artists’ responses to the urban environment.

Geddes was a natural interdisciplinarian. Following his preoccupation with the city as a system, for Missing Titles we gathered a broad spectrum of disciplinary perspectives on the city. Contributors were invited to consider a missing title for: a work that’s needed, even urgent, but unwritten in your field. The title can be practical, provocative, revolutionary or otherwise immoderate in its ambition for understanding the city.

Our imaginary publishing house Scientia Civitatis, translated from the latin means knowledge of the city. The titles are presented as a diagnostic snap shot of Dublin and the city more broadly, from the scientific gaze of a community of discursive practices that have concerned themselves, to various degrees, with the space of the city. Missing Titles explores the city as an object of scientific knowledge and imagination, on the boundary between the thought and the unthought, the written and the unwritten, the real and the imagined.

As a point of departure from the already known, these missing titles are articulated as absent yet urgent windows into understanding and transforming the city.

Hugh Lane Gallery

Curator, Logan Sisley


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  • Scientia Civitatis: Missing Titles