By Mark Wigley
*A very, really nice colour scan.*
From the preface...
To flip one’s gaze upon New Babylon at the present time, on the shut of our century, is to come across one other global, the place shock and the excitement of the eyes mingle with innumerable questions, insights, and speculations. New Babylon was once the focal point of continuous Nieuwenhuys’s task from 1956 to 1974. those very concrete dates surround the production of work, drawings, collages, lithographs, scale versions, and texts, forming the corpus that we now rediscover at Witte de With, middle for modern artwork. This rediscovery is prompted by way of a serious method of the current, looking to stay away from a in simple terms historic description of occasions from a prior which, even though fresh, is still charged with major paradoxes.
Constant is an artist who, with New Babylon, turns into one of many significant visionary architects of this century. either those domain names curiosity us this day: the paintings and its intentions, the expression and its content material, the picture and what it conveys, the textual content and the pedagogical process during which it's inscribed. The problem is to provide an artist whose advanced, hybrid paintings unearths no effortless category — particularly within the current time of ideological flux, which permits us to tricky new arguments and to shape judgments.
New Babylon constitutes the final entire formula of an idea of the recent guy, or larger, of a social house that enables for the emergence of an different guy, of a brand new lifestyle in group, in society. New Babylon is engaged with man’s adventure of the area — and therefore with the functionality of artwork — but in addition with politics, with the values and tools that we forge for our interplay with the area. Deeply rooted within the avant-garde culture which, on the outset of this century, produced such a lot of proposals for the renewal of society, New Babylon deals a pointy distinction with the shut of our century, while the skill to visualize the area another way has considerably declined. right here, then, is a primary fascinating query: what this day is still of our skill to reinvent the area?
With this exhibition and monograph we search to create a double influence. First, to provide the joy of considering an oeuvre of remarkable caliber which, due to the fact its final entire presentation within the Haags Gemeentemuseum in 1974, has purely reached the general public via fragmentary displays (at the Centre Georges Pompidou in Paris, with the exhibition at the passage of a f ew humans via a slightly short second in time: the Situationist foreign, 1957-1972 in 1989; and on the Museu d’Art Contemporani in Barcelona, with the exhibition Situationists. paintings, Politics, Urbanism in 1997). moment, to recuperate and assessment the impression that New Babylon may have within the current, the place radicality, conviction, and audacity are infrequent.
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Additional resources for Constant's New Babylon: The Hyper-Architecture of Desire
3 (Decem ber 1959), pp. 29-31. 90 Letter from Debord to Constant, dated 7 September 1959. 91 Letter from Debord to Constant, dated 25 September 1959. 35 Without Enthusiasm separate teams o f drifters coordinated by Constant on a mobile radio transmitter parallel between the inside and the outside o f the museum; between models o f a sector and those of a micro-derive through a labyrinthine interior built within the museum. Debord was dedi the urban scale; between models o f single living spaces and sector models.
Scientific or social because culture way to conflict. doesn’t let itselfbe split up in squares, and there is no purely artistic or purely scientific activity. H. Chombart de Lauwe, Paris et l ’agglomération parisienne (Paris: PUF, 1952). Cited in Constant (Paris: Bibliothè que d ’ Alexandrie, 1959). 76 Johan Huizinga, Homo Ludens (Haar lem: Tjeenk W illink, 1938). Translated as Johan Huizinga, Homo Ludens:A Study o f the Play Element in Culture (N ew York: Harper and Row, 1970). Constant’s con tact with Huizinga’s theory came during the Cobra years while D ebord’s essay on Architecture and Play’ for Potlatch, no.
204-208. 1 80 Constant, ‘Integratie?... ,’ Forum (August 1959), p. 184. Part o f the text was used on a Liga invitation to their 1959 exhibition at the Stedelijk M useum. Constant wrote to the editors o f Forum on the special issue: ‘The idea o f the integration o f art and social is something that most avant-garde o f the last half century have tried. ( .. ) We need essential change in the structure o f society and the phenomenon o f artistic creativity to get to integration. The situa tionists are against individual produc tions.
Constant's New Babylon: The Hyper-Architecture of Desire by Mark Wigley