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New Babylon - Constant


The School of the City amphitheater will be showing films and video clips about the Dutch artist Constant and his monumental project New Babylon – a fascinating, alluring city he planned over two decades. New Babylon is a city for the adventurous, curious type, a person whose life purpose isn’t work but creativity. Life in New Babylon is not divided between work and vacation, routine and creative or life and art – all these exist in one time and place planned for the idea of the free person. The architecture of this city is exciting, open and undecisive, a space of infinite journey and freedom. The ideas driving its design go against the planning principles of the cities we inhabit and emphasize the influence of the urban space on the ways people think and behave. In the 1960s Constant presented New Babylon in a series of lectures before audiences. At the amphitheater we will restage a lecture Constant gave at London’s ICA in the winter of 1963. The lecture talks about the links he drew between urban planning and art and the ideological and social background that motivated him, as an artist and sculptor, to invest his time in planning a city. Every creative person, Constant argues, must offer new and dynamic ideas to describe the lacking modern reality. The city represents the climax of a society’s creation, therefore, planning New Babylon and presenting it before an audience is an artistic act of the highest order – an act that opens “a mode of thought, imagination and a new way of looking at things and life.” The exhibition and lecture are part of events marking Constants 101 birthday. For more information: Curator: Eran Eizenhamer, New Babylon (1963) – lecture by Constant. Meshi Ulinki and Eran Eizenhamer (2021) Amphitheater – concept: Ana Wild; planning: Aya Zeiger and Eran Eizenhamer; construction: Aya Zeiger Text editor: Yoni Raz Portugali Photo | photographer unknown Photo from the Archive Fondation Constant Model in Rabo Kunstcollectie ©Constant/Fondation Constant c/o Pictoright Amsterdam 2020

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