Human Rights in the country of Utopia
A project to celebrate the millennium in London: an artwork about the history of the notion of utopia
1996 - 2000Location :
North Greenwich station, London
In 1996, British artist agent Vivien Lovell and PACA asked us to design a project for the celebration of the millennium in the North Greenwich station in the Jubilee Line, in London. We invented a project about Gulliver’s travels but it was rejected because Jonathan Swift was Irish! So we invented a second project about Thomas More and his famous book “Utopia”.
Built-in blue Venetian mosaic, the project that we designed juxtaposed the Human Rights with a series of idealistic societies, transformed into philosophical cartographies of the lands, countries, and cities imagined by great thinkers: the city of Milet, the Polis and the Atlantide of Plato, the City of the Sun of Iambule, the City of God of St. Augustin, the Ou-topos or Utopia of Thomas More, Campanella’s City of the Sun, Bacon‘s Bensalem in the New Atlantide, Swift’s Gulliver’s travels, without forgetting the tradition of the utopian architects like Boullée and Ledoux and their city-factories, Owen‘s city, Fourier‘s Phalanstère and Godin’s Familystère.
The largest wall of the station, 128 meters long and 10 meters high, was to be covered by 1280 square meters of blue ceramic produced in Venice, Italy. We had visited the factory and we already knew how to make the design and the mosaics. Planned for the Millenium celebration, we prepared all the plans and completed the budget for the project, but because of two weeks’ late delivery of the material, architect Paoletti canceled the production. The wall never received any project.
Will Alsop station is beautiful even without our project.
PARTNERS AND SUPPORT
PACA – Public Art Commission Agency