It is not really magic. But for many, it is the greatest magic trick ever seen. The year is 1901, the same year the great inventor Nikola Tesla was conducting tests to transmit electrical power without wires at an experimental station in Colorado Springs. On the evening of Tesla’s first experiment, bolts of human-made lightning more than one hundred feet high came shooting out from the station. The experiment burned down the generator at the El Paso Electric Company, and the whole city lost power as a result.

Meanwhile, in a theater somewhere in London, a magician comes on stage to a full house. Facing the audience, he takes off his tailcoat jacket and hands it to his assistant. Two doors stand at opposite ends of the stage. The magician exits through one door and immediately reappears through the other. The audience looks around the stage. Perplexed, they try to discover the secret. But of course they don’t. And they don’t really want to know. For in order for the trick to work, they have to believe that what they see is not an illusion. The theater fills with the sound of applause.

It is the greatest magic trick ever seen. But it is not magic in the true sense of the word; only the appearance of it. The trick is called The Transported Man.

The Transported Man is organized by the Eli and Edythe Broad Art Museum at Michigan State University and curated by Marc-Olivier Wahler, Director. Support for this exhibition is provided by the Swiss Arts Council Pro Helvetia and the Broad MSU’s general exhibitions fund.

Pro Helvetica