Bodys Isek Kingelez / City of Dreams. MoMA


Dystopic/ Utopic altercations of reality

A fantasy world that plays into dreams of an epitome of functioning societal pariah.


A visually childlike whimsical blend of architecture and imagination. Constantly uses modes of communicating a subalternate dimension of existence. Definitely, creations speaking on his childhood underneath Belgium’s control with its style as a platform to articulate growth in independence. Almost futuristic in design, created with a modern day or past relics of a contemporary society which in turn creates a juxtaposition of past and future in curating a new outlook for coexistence.

Peel away the decorative aspects of these creations and more modern systematic and minimalistic esc structures of architecture can be shown in design elements. Find a contrast in the difference of ornate decoration and simplistic structure. Does this poses the question for the topic of distraction or an altercation of an assumed gaze that is distorted by the accumulation of visuals?  Several of his pieces articulate a need for reform in various metropolis creation while using a playful form of encapsulating space as a voice. He speaks on colonialism displacement of those countries that do not have control of themselves and shows hopes of unity through a blend of various cultural aspects into his cityscapes. These pieces tend to hold ideals of a metropolis inhabitance that finds function in complex systems and scapes.

I personally feel the presentation of the work in a white wall institutional space takes away from the generative influences behind the work and the social settings the artist and work were influenced by to create it. There is a peaking of interest once the artist is connected to their work and directly reflects the passion and intent. After doing some personal reading, the way Bodys Isek Kingelez speaks on his work is very different from art historians and I feel that historians and critics institutionalize and deflate the message and dream behind the work. It was apparent that the artist was physicalizing his imagination of hopes and dreams for his country and the world it exists in and his passion is what gave these pieces’ life.


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