Museum Folkwang
  • Atelier van Lieshout. ›Slave City‹

  • Since 2005, the Aterlier Van Lieshout has been working on an extensive work group entitled ›Slave City‹, which includes plans, drawings, models and installations.

    ›Slave City‹ is an artistic dystopia full of historical, art historical, literary and cinematic references. Atelier van Lieshout’s urban project, strictly organized around rationality, efficiency and profit, assumes the possibility of an initial investment which seems to offer enormous returns, thus reflecting not least some of the developments in the economy in the recent past.

    As a starting point for the project, begun in 2005, Joep van Lieshout – head of the atelier – juggled with contemporary ethical and aesthetic values, ideas on nutrition, environmental and climate protection, organization, management and markets, combining and interpreting them anew. ›Slave City‹ aims at the realization of compete autarchy, presenting itself at the same time as a perversion of a highly modern achievement-oriented society. The green city, using only energy it produces, is juxtaposed with breaking of taboos such as enslavement and total recycling of humans. To a certain extent, the city is a new interpretation of concentration camps which use the latest technology. The only pay comes from prostitution.

    Four of the sketch-like paintings in the collection illustrate organizational structures. ›Participants‹ in the project – as the residents are called – work seven hours a day in service industries (long distance communication, call-shops, computer programming etc.), seven hours in the fields, workshops or in surveillance. Together with seven hours for sleeping, each resident has three hours leisure time. A strict surveillance system ensures that any deviation will be draconically punished.

    The model of the ›City of Slaves‹ shows a perfectly organized and creative city which contains, apart from the necessary infrastructure, service buildings, universities, health and shopping centers, villages, brothels and museums. The ›Call-Center-Units‹ where people work and sleep, are collective camps for 20736 people per block and a minimum of 72 people per segment.

    Atelier Lieshout became known internationally in the 1990s with the production of mobile houses and ›shells‹, whose conception aimed at a freedom of movement, flexibility in form and evasion of planning authorities. AVL also produced ready-made furniture (Bad Furniture), functional toilet units, bunks, living capsules and office units. Up to today, the Atelier has developed, in a unique way, small and large format artworks and installations between architecture, design and sculpture.
    In 2001, ›AVL-Ville‹, an independent city-state in the harbor of Rotterdam, was declared. The failure in the end of an anarchist utopia was followed by the still continuing project ›Slave-City‹.
  • Exh_Title_S: Atelier van Lieshout. ›Slave City‹
  • Exh_Id: 506
  • Exh_Comment_S (Verantw): Painting, Sculpture, Media Art
  • Exh_SpareNField01_N (Verantw ID): 188
Linked Callcenter Units
Zero Foot Print
Biogas Fodder
Division of the Day
Hanging Men