Galerie Wilma Tolksdorf is pleased to present works by the artist Johanna Diehl from the new series Eurotopians. Eurotopians deals with visionary buildings and experimental designs which have emerged primarily in the sixties and seventies in Europe, questioning the conventional perceptions of 'living', 'building' and 'housing'. The project comprises the collaboration between Johanna Diehl and the author and journalist Niklas Maak, who has published major reportages on the visionary architects in the newspaper FAZ since 2002. The project will be published in a joint publication presumably in 2014. Johanna Diehl has examined these places of utopian modernism and created a series of impressive photographs.
While the cycle of works is dedicated to eight architects in total, the exhibition presents a selection of images that deal with the innovative buildings by Antti Lovag, Yona Friedman, Cini Boeri and Dante Bini and question their up-to-datedness.
Johanna Diehl shows the futuristic Bubble Houses by the architect Antti Lovag, which are located on a high plateau in Southern France. These concrete balls, whose segments form a residential landscape, should create an experimental cosmos in which privacy and community are experienced in a different way. For more than thirty years, Lovag was living in a utopian community with students while working on the realisation of his vision. Surrounded by cork-oak trees and with a view over the Mediterranean Sea, they built, amongst others, a sixty-square-metre model of the 1000-square-metre building in which the architect still lives today.
Yona Friedman in another influential utopian whom Johanna Diehl addresses in her work. The work of the artist takes us into the apartment of the architect which is filled with models, drawings and found objects and thus resembles a walkable brain and constitutes a storage room for his visionary designs of mobile architecture and 'Architecture spatial'. Moreover, Johanna Diehl shows the fascinating buildings of the architect Cini Boeri, who has not only designed alien-looking sofas, but also ufo-like houses as models for micro cities.
As Niklas Maak writes, the Eurotopians project is not about a melancholic view on the beauty of a time during which an empathetic belief in the future brought about shapes which would almost be unthinkable today. On the contrary, it is about the 'Archaeology of the Utopian' (Maak) ' about the question what has become of these 'other' concepts. 'Could one live differently in 2013 than we do? Is a vision of tomorrow still reflected in these stranded buildings, in the ruins of the European utopians?'
Johanna Diehl (born 1977, Hamburg, Germany) lives and works in Berlin. She studied photography at the School of Visual Arts in Leipzig in the class of Prof. Rautert and was master student under Prof. Tina Bara. She has received numerous awards, most recently a scholarship by the Stiftung Kunstfonds Bonn and Akademie Schloss Solitude.
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