Zone d’utopie temporaire

For its opening to the public in August 2016, the Koppel Project Hive will be hosting the second edition of the Zone d’Utopie Temporaire (Z.U.T.) summer residency program. The residency stands as a social and creative experiment whereby a group of selected artists accept the challenge of working together during three weeks to create a Temporary Utopian Zone.

Last year, fifteen artists and two theorists were invited to take part in the first edition presented by curator Alice Bonnot at “L’Amour”, Paris. Day and night, together or alone, each artist participated in forging a Temporary Utopian Zone that came to occupy every last corner of the vast space. The theorists Lucien Labroue and Déborah Bucchi accompanied the fifteen artists through both structured conferences and more informal discussions. Many works were created in the given time period, each a singular fruit of the projects’ multidisciplinary nature and each addressing Utopia differently.

The desire to initiate an itinerant Zone d’Utopie Temporaire, with a second edition in London and later across Europe, stems from a deep appreciation for the focus to be gained when exposing oneself to unfamiliar environments and/or constraints. In the context of this project, “Utopia” is approached as ‘a distance a society is capable of taking from itself to feign what it could become’ (Lucien Labroue, 2015); hence the particular necessity for the artists involved to take their surrounding and related realities with them when searching for utopia within themselves.

Arguably, the core format of the Z.U.T. residency programme is itself Utopian. Is it achievable for a group of artists to work together during three weeks in order to produce an exhibition as the result of those collaborations? When the first edition of Z.U.T. was successful in Paris last year that opened the door for the upcoming edition in London. Who knows, perhaps Temporary Utopian Zones can take shape anywhere? This question can be asked until the world is turned into an intercontinental Permanent Utopian Zone.