On Monday i checked out the much admired and written-about exhibition of Antony Gormley at the Hayward gallery (Southbank Centre) in London, found it quite a bore and had the day saved by Dutch artists' collective Atelier van Lieshout's Board Room installation at the Hayward’s brand new Projects Space.
The Board Room is part of an ever-expanding project, SlaveCity, which elaborates on capitalism and takes the notion of productivity, corporate culture and profit to the extreme (earlier WC post here).
The Board Room installation includes models, urban maps, a detailed business plan and sculptures beside a dinner table, laid for dinner with exquisite hand-illustrated crockery, the works introduce visitors to the life in the futuristic and dystopian city, where the 200,000 residents are known as 'participants'.
The Board Room (detail)
The "participants" live in an up-to-date and rational concentration camp where they are divided by gender and follow a seven-hour shift. They dedicate 7 hours a day on tele-services such as customers service, ICT, telemarketing, computer programming etc. After that, they work 7 hours on the fields or workshop, in order to ensure the subsistence of the community. The rest of their time is used for education, sleep and other necessities. All this is done in gender specific facilities.
Model Work Sleep Unit with Puppets
The life of "participants" is very strictly regimented, for example, they can only reproduce themselves by visiting male or female brothels. However, the city is self-sufficient and aims to become the first CO2-negative, zero-energy city in the world (producing its own food, recycling methane from human waste into a consumable fuel, etc).
The project is still seeking for more investment but AVL is confident that thanks to the super-efficient labor of the “participants”, SlaveCity will generate billions of euro net profit each year. The efficiency extends to the inhabitants, who have targets to meet. If they become too weak or too old they are you recycled, their blood, and organs taken out and re-used, the rest burnt to produce energy.
The Board Room is of course not meant for the participants but for the board of directors of SlaveCity.
More images of Board Room on dezeen (where i stole the image on the top), BD and flickr.
Images of SlaveCity taken at the exhibition of the Female Slave University at Giò Marconi, in Milan earlier this year.
At Hayward Project Space, Southbank Centre, London, Until August 27.
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