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Le Corbusier's Villa Savoye sunk in Danish Fjord to criticize the "sinking" of modernity

Denmark - Aug 1, 2018 - 08:02   5716 views

Danish artist Asmund Havsteen-Mikkelsen has created a giant replica of Le Corbusier’s iconic Villa Savoye, one of the architect's best known buildings for modernism. 

Named Flooded Modernity, the 1:1 scale model is presented for the 2018 Floating Art Festival as a half-submerged sculpture in a Danish fjord to comment on the "sinking" of modernity, especially criticizing the disclosure of the Cambridge Analytica scandal and the manipulation of democratic elections through social media.

Asmund Havsteen-Mikkelsen's installation is presented as one of the 10 selected works in the 2018 Floating Art Festival, the festival includes subtle works, specially created for Floating Art 2018 and search for works commenting on both local and global themes. 

In addition, the twelve artists and architects who exhibit this year are working on the theme of water. The water is an integral part of their works and the societal themes that occupy them.

"When modernism's icons building Villa Savoye of Le Corbusier goes to the grounds of the fjord, it is about the five principles of the completed booth he invented in 1931," said the Festival in its presentation. 

"But there is also a comment on the importance of modernity today and the way we are uncritically lets us tear off of likes and followers in the digital parallel society. Is it still modernism's belief in knowledge and progress that drives society? How can we safeguard reason when the world's most powerful man drives politics on Twitter based on his stomach sensation?."

Asmund Havsteen-Mikkelsen works with modern architecture in his paintings and Villa Savoye from 1931, the character of Le Corbusier plays a major role in his practice. He has designed the house 25 times, painted it nine times and lastly designed the house in 1: 2 for the exhibition Floating Art 2018. 

The house expresses Le Corbusier's five new principles of architecture as a booth: the free facade, the house on pillars, the roof terrace , the open plan and the horizontal window band. The principles have had a major impact on our way of visualizing and constructing architecture in Europe - a style that has set the framework for modern housing and lifestyle. 

A piece of architecture history that is being challenged in Asmund Havsteen-Mikkelsen's work Flooded Modernity, where Villa Savoye is about to go to land in the fjord. Architecture is not just brick, but also constitutes a social and political space. 

"For me, the Villa Savoye is a symbol of Modernity and Enlightenment. It represents the faith in the critical powers of the human mind in relation to progress and in our use of criticality in the public sphere," said Asmund Havsteen-Mikkelsen, quoted in ICON Magazine

"After these scandals, I think our sense of democracy and the public sphere has been distorted through the new use of digital technologies to manipulate elections. Our sense of Modernity has been “flooded.” I sense the need to "re-state" our political institutions - because our old ones have “sunk," he added. 

When Flooded Modernity sinks in Vejle Fjord, it is a comment from the artist that we must remember to protect our critical use of reason - a pillar of modern society. With recent years of political events such as Brexit, the choice of Trump and advocacy advances in Europe, Asmund Havsteen-Mikkelsen sees a critical public being particularly challenged.

For the 2018 Floating Art Festival, this year's focus is on an ongoing desire to test new techniques and test society's actions and the motives that drive them. The welfare committee focuses on the global and political challenges that we are facing right now and are likely to catch up if we do not respond. 

The 2018 Floating Festival started on June 23, 2018 and will be on view until September 2, 2018.

All images courtesy of Asmund Havsteen-Mikkelse, The Floating Art Festival

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