Utopia/Dystopia is the first “manifesto exhibition” at MAAT’s new building. Establishing a dialogue with the site-specific commissions at the museum’s Oval Gallery, these group shows present side by side works of artists and architects who, in their respective fields, have produced insights and critical reflections on crucial themes of our times.
Echoing the 500th anniversary of Thomas More’s Utopia, the show reveals how the dichotomy between utopia and dystopia reflects a time of paradoxical acceleration, where anxiety and optimism collide. Today, technological developments stimulate expectations of enhanced connectivity and a better quality of life. However, cyclical crises also constantly disturb the social, political and ecological spheres. With utopian and dystopian narratives typically emerging in such troubled periods, artists and architects, writers or filmmakers are crucial in proposing contradictions and proposing illuminating new possibilities. Encompassing a wide range of ideas, from a profound reflexion on the downfall of Modernism to the current political scene, Utopia/Dystopia promotes a dialogue between more than 60 artworks and projects that present unique views on the subject since the early 1970s.
Utopia/Dystopia—A Paradigm Shift is curated by Pedro Gadanho, João Laia and Susana Ventura.
The preview opening will be held on March 21 with special performances by Michelangelo Pistolleto and Allard van Hoorn which will take place outside the new building.