This book is published at the occasion of the exhibition Atopolis
produced by the Wiels in the framework of Mons 2015, European Capital of Culture. This project takes as its starting point the history of Mons and the Borinage, comparing it with the history of the modern age on an international scale, and relating it to the present time through the voices of some twenty artists questioning our times and our environment.
What we generally call “modernity,” that history of multiple conquests targeting control over reality through technology and science, also refers to the exploration through art of the hidden dimensions of our behaviour, our ideas and our subjectivity. Atopolis
proposes to rediscover models of social and cultural utopia developed by personalities from our region, but the exhibition also unveils captivating works created by artists who are watchful and critical of the era of globalisation in which we are living, that of uniform channels of information and free trade, leading both to an unprecedented connectivity and to a loss of frames of reference. Atopolis
, a title which echoes the ideas of Edouard Glissant, a writer who has philosophised about identities and migratory movements, seems an excellent metaphor of our digital era, given the importance it grants to the development of models of cohabiting and coexistence which seem to hark back to the social utopias that have emerged from our region.
This publication is composed of two interdepedent parts: one with the texts of four different authors on all the works at show; the second one with visual and textual elements from the Mundaneum Archives, excerpts of texts of Edouard Glissant, Raoul Vaneigem
, Paul Lafargue, a.o., and unpublished material of Allan Sekula
on the Borinage.
Published on the occasion of the eponymous exhibition curated by Dirk Snauwaert and Charlotte Friling and held at the Manège de Sury, Mons, from June to October 2015.
With 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 Platéus
, Walter Swennen
, Diego Tonus, Jack Whitten...