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Atopolis

Edited by Raphaël Pirenne, Sébastien Biset, Charlotte Friling & Dirk Snauwaert. 

This exhibition presents a group of artists interested in phenomena of circulation, diaspora and cultural dislocation. The title alludes to the ideas of Edouard Glissant, the influential thinker of hybridisation and globalisation, who argues in favour of fluid identities, unhindered exchanges and an ideal cosmopolitan openness, which he calls the ‘Relation’, interconnected and radically egalitarian.

Mons and the Borinage, once a historic center of the early industrialisation on the continent – a cultural and social carrier synonym of modernity – was the hub of important work-related migrations, toward a ‘better’ life, as well as the symbol of cultural and social intermix. Plural identities and similar subjects related to globalisation had a pioneering destiny in the region, which subsequently saw the emergence of multiple models of social utopia.

Touching upon notions of otherness and difference in the eye of globalisation, the exhibition also explores the specificity of a place and its history: the Manège de Sury - an ancient Civil Guard barrack -, and an old convent-school, both formerly housed a kind of 'micro-city' or ideal community. The refurbished architectural complex will, in 2016, become a start-up incubator, and urban archipelago destined to serve a creative and technological future, fueled by the free exchange of information and data. Twenty-three artist will temporarily install their proposal: an atopolis or a project for an ideal city, connected to everyplace or anyplace

With texts about Saâdane Afif, Nevin Aladağ, Francis Alÿs, Danai Anesiadou, El Anatsui, Yto Barrada, Huma Bhabha, Vincen Beeckman, Vlassis Caniaris, Abraham Cruzvillegas, Meschac Gaba, Jef Geys, Thomas Hirschhorn, David Medalla, Adrian Melis, Benoit PlatéusWalter Swennen, Diego Tonus, Jack Whitten...

Texts by Jan Baetens, Yves Citton, Yoann Van Parys, Elvan Zabunyan

Graphic design : Harrisson (Joël Vermot)

Bilingual edition French / English

Co-edited by Wiels, Brussels

256 pages
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