In 1516 Thomas More came up with a new approach to observing social and political organisation with his book Utopia, which includes the notion of a geometric and rectangular city. Utopia also brings together different fields of study, including philosophy, science (social, political, historical), literature, urbanism, architecture and science fiction. This approach to a new perfect organisation of society and space can lead to powerful and constructive new ideas and visions. Thinking about the city means thinking about the way we live together.
Research into visionary ideas of cities has interested different generations of architects and city planners. Since the Middle Ages, various thinkers have tried to imagine the ideal city. In the 20th and 21st centuries, Ebenezer Howard (Garden City, 1898), Le Corbusier (Le Plan voisin, 1925), Ludwig Mies van der Rohe (Rayon in Berlin, 1922), the group Archigram (Living City, 1960) and many others have tried, and are still trying, to find new ways of thinking about how we live together.
Thinking about utopia allows us to go a step further. In order to open up our mental horizons and achieve the greatest freedom we have to take a step away from reality. In fact, thinking differently has always been a challenge, as it means leaving the familiar and the known. Nevertheless, this change of perspective is enriching and forces us to adapt and to imagine new ways of being. Utopia is a tool we can use to surpass our mental constraints. Thinking about utopia can help us to take a more playful and freer approach as our default values are called into question, giving us the freedom to create.
L’utopie photographique / photographic utopia – the series “Pele-mêle – Durcheinander”
Florian Schmitt’s images are an attempt to reconstruct buildings using their own architecture. By using photography as a visionary tool, he creates new, completely disengaged architectural forms. These photographic utopias are autonomous arrangements creating new visions and perceptions of cities and buildings. In order to find a visual language situated between two-dimensional photography and three-dimensional architecture he plays around with photographic objects and surfaces. The juxtaposition between photography and graphic elements allows him to work abstractly so as to construct, translate and interpret reality. The result looks like a digital photograph produced using software such as Photoshop, but, apart from a digital camera used to take the picture, everything is done manually.
Interview with Meike Welz - Kamikaze Kama (2016)
Joseph Imorde - Im Gleichgewicht (2011)
Groupshow | FONIS-Galerie, Düsseldorf
Raumangelegenheiten | UNION, Cologne
RAUM | Büro für Brauchbarkeit, Cologne
5x3 | Kunstraum Düsseldorf, Düsseldorf
JungArt | Alte Münze, Berlin
Ecken und Kanten | Städt. Galerie Haus Seel, Siegen
Brauhaus-Fotografie 20 | Brauhaus, Siegen
Das Innere ist jetzt Außen | Städt. Galerie Haus Seel, Siegen