When: May 25 - July 29, 2007
About the ShowUtopia, the notion of an ideal society, imagines a place or a community where social contradictions are annulled in a collective dream in which peace and harmony are perfected. There are utopias of the past (The Garden of Eden, Arcadia), utopias of the present (social experiments, enlightenments, technological revolutions) and imagined utopias (The Apocalypse, the New Millennium, Socialism). But what has come of these utopias in the 21st century? The artists whose work is included in Utopian Mirage, revisit these dreams today to discover that they have often been overtaken by the dystopian realities of urban decay, corruption, loss of innocence, and nature's entropic cycles.
The exhibition brings together work by contemporary artists working in photography and film whose images examine landscape, cityscapes, architecture, interiors, and residential communities that serve as social indicators and metaphors for failed utopian ideals. The impulse of utopia and its failure to come to fruition, can be schematized according to a number of classic oppositions of Western thought: natural/technological; local/global; rural/urban; and individual/collective. Several of these conflicting ideas are addressed in the works collected in this exhibition.
Organized by the Frances Lehman Loeb Art Center, the exhibition and its publication were produced and written by curator Mary-Kay Lombino and are made possible by the generous support of The Horace W. Goldsmith Foundation and the Friends of the Frances Lehman Loeb Exhibition Fund.