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Constant: New Babylon
Text by Constant, Trudy Nieuwenhuys, Laura Stamps, Willemijn Stokvis, Mark Wigley. Interviews by Rem Koolhaas.
Constant's Situationist utopia reimagined everyday life as an urban adventure
An open city without borders that is capable of flowing out in all directions to allow its residents to move freely and flexibly: this fascinating utopian conception of architectural and lifeworld growth formed the starting point for Constant’s Situationist project New Babylon. Between 1956 and 1974, the Dutch painter and cofounder of the avant-garde movements Cobra and the Situationist International worked on numerous models, paintings, drawings and collages for the purpose of depicting his vision of the nomadic city of the future.
This catalogue focuses not only on New Babylon’s architectural aspects but embraces them as an artist’s synthesis of the arts. Besides the models, drawings and collages, attention is also given to the designs in order to trace Constant’s artistic process. This not only provides extensive insight into utopian urban planning, but to a greater degree into a mode of thought and imagination. The book includes an interview with Rem Koolhaas on Constant’s pioneering project.
Constant Nieuwenhuys (1920–2005) was a Dutch painter, architect, sculptor, graphic artist, author and musician. His friendship with Danish painter Asger Jorn led to the founding of the Cobra group. After its dissolution, Constant became a founding member of the Situationist International movement along with Jorn and Guy Debord, and began work on his New Babylon project.
"New Babylon - Amsterdam (Atlas of New Babylon) (1963) is reproduced from 'Constant: New Babylon.'
PRAISE AND REVIEWS
Form Design Magazine
a major source of inspiration.... an in-depth catalogue
Constant Nieuwenhuys’s New Babylon was ahead of its time.
The New York Times
Constant's vision rested on the birth of a new kind of human.
STATUS: Out of stock indefinitely.
FROM THE ARTBOOK BLOG
CORY REYNOLDS | DATE 1/8/2017
In 1974, Dutch artist, Situationist and COBRA cofounder Constant described his now-legendary plan for a utopian city without borders, which he refined and reworked for the better part of 20 years. "A symbolic representation of the dynamic labyrinth: that is how New Babylon can be interpreted. For me it was the disintegration that had to end the exhibition. You know Rimbaud's saying 'The idea is to reach the unknown by the derangement of all the senses.' I am not even talking about an alternative future, for I do not say: this is the future. I am no prophet. I merely say: one could live better, or at any rate on a higher lever. How? you might ask. Instead of always having to toil and labor, be slaves, people could be free. And to me, freedom is creativity." Featured image, of Constant's model "Klein Labyr (Little Labyr) (1959) is reproduced from Constant: New Babylon, Hatje Cantz's exemplary catalogue to the recent exhibition at Gemeente Museum, The Hague. continue to blog
USD $40.00 | CAN $54
Pub Date: 11/22/2016
Active | In stock