« News, News World
Urban Unease Saves Art
Centre de Cultura Contemporània de Barcelona
February 25 - May 24, 2010
“ATOPIA” is the feeling of unease experienced by the individual in the face of the contemporary city that in no way represents their desired utopian paradise. The Centre de Cultura Contemporània de Barcelona is presenting “ATOPIA. Art and City in the 21st Century,” its first exhibition devoted to contemporary art. Rather than specifics of gentrification or politics, “ATOPIA” is interested in the more universal, more palpable agony: that of the individual who survives and his or her existential resistance in the face of urban apotheosis.
The exhibition is organized into four sections, as well as a prologue, an epilogue, and transition pieces between each section. The first section, “City vs. the Inhabitant,” investigates the tension between the artist/individual and the city. It presents subjects who continue to fight with the urban phenomenon, whether repeating urban routines to the point of exhaustion or seeking escape in the sewers of contemporary life.
“The City without Inhabitants,” the second section, is starkly different. This work extrapolates upon the ideas of the city growing beyond the individual in an abstract, post-capitalist world, focusing on the growing role of the city entity. Likewise, the third section, “The Inhabitant without the City,” focuses on the individual who has lost faith in the dream of the city, lonely in the crowds. Further, this section examines the loss of humanity within the megalopolis.
The fourth section, “Urban Apotheosis,” encounters the city as the only identity left to us. This section includes artists whose examination of the city may be silly but by no means useless: partying, living by night, creating new spaces, and using graffiti to shake off their disquiet with revelry and uproar.
“ATOPIA,” which includes more than 168 works by 41 contemporary artists, was curated by the Director of the CCCB, Joseph Ramoneda, and curator and art critic Iván de la Nuez and is on display from February 25 - May 4.