In yet another one of their riveting inroads into the insularity of the human imagination, the Panorama presents “The Cognomic Theory of the Antarctic Interior” a journey to the center of the dearth — Antarctica, to be precise, and the supposed realm of Linia that existed (or exists) in its wintry wastes. The premise: Giuseppe Cognomi, lost at sea, returned to a truly and duly skeptical 18th-century world with news of the fantastical Linians, a hidden civilization living by a sea in a heretofore undiscovered country below everything at the bottom of the planet. Though science has proved this to be positively fabulous as an assertion — like Earths Flat and Hollow before and after Cognomi — a devoted few have kept the flag of Linia flying, having championed his stories and created a schedule of dioramas (hello science class) about life, culture and time in the strange land to better illustrate what many — possibly Linia included — would rather believe did not exist. Lyman Emery, director of the Society for Linian Studies and exhibition curator, holds much in common with the Museum of Jurassic Technology with his chosen field of geographic inquiry, so expect Asperger-level attention to detail and presentation as well as a Gandalf-level scope of creativity and magic when it comes to this could-be world that, like most great art, need not exist solely on film or canvas to fire up a flight of fancy that turns a good afternoon into a great one.

Fridays-Sundays. Starts: April 11. Continues through Aug. 16, 2009

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