July 16, 2007
by Canadian Architect
Offering a window onto the latest developments in contemporary art from across the globe, the Hayward Pavilion Gallerys new Project Space at the Southbank Centre in London is opening with Dutch artists collective Atelier Van Lieshouts Board Room.
AVL, founded in Rotterdam in 1995 by Joep Van Lieshout, is a multidisciplinary art practice encompassing installation, design, furniture and architecture, producing work which examines and critiques the commercial nature of contemporary society.
Running from July 11 to August 27, 2007, Board Room consists of a series of models and urban plans alongside a dinner table laid with hand-illustrated crockery, all of which relate to the fictional SlaveCity, a dystopian metropolis which Atelier Van Lieshout began to develop in 2005. This sinister futuristic city acts as a model for social and environmental self-sufficiency, at once utopian and authoritarian, employing communist working methods to take the notion of productivity and profit to the extreme.
Participants work for a prescribed number of hours each day in office jobs and workshops, before being allowed a few hours of relaxation before they sleep. Whilst the regime offers its inhabitants no independence and severely restricts their freedoms, the city is entirely self-sufficient and communally run, producing its own food, using natural fuel products such as bio-diesel, solar and wind energy, and recycling its waste.SlaveCity is an evolving, ever-expanding project that envisions this hypothetical business-cum-city and its economic structure in elaborately worked out detail.
This exhibition has been generously supported by the Mondriaan Foundation, Amsterdam and Albion Gallery, London.
For more information, please visit www.southbankcentre.co.uk.