Flooded Modernity by Asmund Havsteen-Mikkelsen - Aesthetic Post

Flooded Modernity by Asmund Havsteen-Mikkelsen

Flooded Modernity by Asmund Havsteen-Mikkelsen

Flooded Modernity by Asmund Havsteen-Mikkelsen

Asmund Havsteen-Mikkelsen has sunk a 1:1 replica of one of Le Corbusier‘s most iconic buildings, Villa Savoye, in a Danish fjord; this jutting, iceberg-like installation serves as a social and political statement pertaining to Brexit and Trump’s election results. Titled Flooded Modernity, the installation is one of 10 waterborne works on display at the Floating Art Festival on Vejle Fjord, an art and architecture event organized by the Vejle Museum in Denmark, available to view through September 2.

Havsteen-Mikkelsen describes Flooded Modernity as a symbol of how the values of modernism have been overwhelmed by technology; from election scandals to third party influence, across the world we’ve seen politics manipulated negatively and falsely via technology. As it relates to the installation, Havsteen-Mikkelsen describes Villa Savoye as a symbol of modernity that represents faith in the public’s critical thinking . . . “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’.’”

Le Corbusier was a pioneer of the modernist movement in architecture of the early 1900s, the Swiss-French architect (amongst many other titles) rejected superfluous, ornamental design, in favor of clean lines and open plans, heavily inspired by mathematical concepts, his design theory having major impact on modern European architecture. Le Corbusier’s connection to water is of note when it comes to this installation; he praised the design of ocean liners and incorporated elements to his work, a barge built by Le Corbusier as a homeless shelter in 1910 sank earlier this year (and is to be restored as a museum) in Paris, and sadly, after going for a swim against his doctor’s orders, Le Corbusier drowned in the Mediterranean Sea off the southern coast of France in 1965.

Villa Savoye has been a returning theme in Havsteen-Mikkelsen’s work, as he considers it to embody the essential values of modernism, including critical thinking and reason.

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