On the occasion of the floating art 2018 festival, organized by Denmark’s Vejle art museum, artist Asmund Havsteen-Mikkelsen has created and sunk a 1:1 replica of a corner of Le Corbusier‘s 1929 Villa Savoye.

Titled ‘flooded modernity’, the half-submerged sculpture floats in Theejle fjord as a comment on the ‘sinking’ of reason amidst recent sociopolitical events including Brexit, Donald Trump, the Cambridge Analytica scandal, and the use of social media to manipulate democratic elections.

A pioneer of modern architecture, Le Corbusier (Charles-Edouard Jeanneret) illustrated in Villa Savoye the five points that set the framework for housing and lifestyle as we know it: 1) the open plan, 2) the free facade, 3) the roof garden, 4) horizontal bands of windows, and 5) the pilotis.

Asmund Havsteen-Mikkelsen has created a mock-up of a part of the iconic structure in a size of 15 x 6 x 9 meters, which will float along the Danish coast for the duration of the festival, until 2 September.

Challenging the principles on which Villa Savoye was built, the Danish artist reminds us that during today’s turbulent and conflicted sociopolitical scene, our critical use of reason, ‘a pillar of modern society’, is in danger and must be protected before it completely ‘sinks’.‘When, at floating art, I let Villa Savoye ‘run aground’ in Vejle Fjord, it is a comment on the state of modernity today,’ the artist explains, ‘the geopolitical events of recent years – Brexit, the election of Trump, Putin’s interference in democratic elections, the advancement of right-wing radicals in Europe – are happening with a background in and through the new digital media, which challenge modernity’s classic notions of a critical public.’

‘A challenge through the formation of fake news, private information bubbles, and in dissolving the economic foundation of the traditional critical news media,’ Havsteen-Mikkelsen continues, ‘the work flooded modernity is a critical commentary on the present, an attempt to draw attention to the importance of modernity and how we will deal with the legacy of modernity.’

All images courtesy of studio Asmund Havsteen-Mikkelsen
This feature was originally published in designboom.com.


Author Ernes Hajdari

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