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ATELIER VAN LIESHOUT
(Joep van Lieshout, The Netherlands, 1963)


Slave City. Welcoming Center, 2007

steel, wood and paint, 185 x 200 x 68 cm
Courtesy the artist, Photo and © Atelier Van Lieshout

SlaveCity. Urban Plan, 2005
digital print on Hahnemuehle canvas, 95 x 230 cm
Courtesy the artist, Photo and © Atelier Van Lieshout

SlaveCity. Business Plan, 2005
digital print on Hahnemuehle canvas, 90 x 300 cm
Courtesy the artist, Photo and © Atelier Van Lieshout







As a part of the Slave City project, these three pieces (the sculpture Welcoming Center and the two canvases Urban Plan and Business Plan) represent socially utopian architectural concepts. The Dutch artists’ collective Atelier van Lieshout designed a complete city uniquely based on the principles of rationality, efficiency, profit and ecology. The effect of these economic principles radically applied on social structures is that human beings are reduced to resources serving the system – and literally fuelling it: Slave City is a green city, everything is being recycled, including its inhabitants. Most of the models of Slave City do not include any human presence. This vacuum indeed triggers the imagination of the viewer, who is trying to fill in the blank with his own possibly disturbing assumptions. In addition to the urban plan of the imaginary city, its business plan and its welcoming centre, Atelier von Lieshout designed other institutions such as a work sleep unit, a call centre, a university for women, a university for men, a womb house and others completing the closed world of Slave City. The frightening vision of this state-of-the-art concentration camp seems to pinpoint the destructive effects of an unchallenged predominance of utilitarian principles for human communities.











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Luchezar Boyadjiev (BUL)
Marco Brambilla (I/USA)
Marc Bijl (NL)
Fabio Cifariello Ciardi (I)
Claude Closky (F)
Denis Darzacq (F)
Eva Grubinger (A)
Pablo Helguera (MX)
Damien Hirst (UK)
Bethan Huws (GB)
Christian Jankowski (D)
Atelier van Lieshout (NL)
Michael Landy (UK)
Thomas Locher (D)
Aernout Mik (NL)
Antoni Muntadas (E)
Takashi Murakami (J)
Josh On (CAN)
Dan Perjovschi (RUM)
Cesare Pietroiusti (I)
Wilfredo Prieto (CUB)

Palazzo Strozzi