The installation titled ‘Flooded Modernity’ has been designed by artist Asmund Havsteen-Mikkelsen, the 1:1 scale model of a corner of Villa Savoye by Le Corbusier juts out from the water like a clean-lined modernist iceberg. It’s one of ten projects selected from 90 original proposals that have been cast adrift for the Floating Art Festival, an annual event organized by Denmark’s Vejle Museum.
With Flooded Modernity, challenging the principles on which Villa Savoye was built, Mikkelsen reminds us of today’s turbulent and conflicted sociopolitical scene
A pioneer of modern architecture, Le Corbusier (Charles-Edouard Jeanneret) illustrated in Villa Savoye the five points that set the framework for housing and lifestyle as we know it: the open plan, the free facade, the roof garden, horizontal bands of windows, and the pilotis. Asmund Havsteen-Mikkelsen has created a mock-up of a part of the iconic structure in a size of 15 x 6 x 9 meters. Challenging the principles on which Villa Savoye was built, the Danish artist reminds us that during today’s turbulent and conflicted sociopolitical scene, our critical use of reason, ‘a pillar of modern society’, is in danger and must be protected before it completely ‘sinks’.
According to the artist, it is a symbol of how the values of modernity have been swamped by technology. Several recent elections have been plagued by scandals, with digital manipulation from third parties appearing to influence the election of Trump in America and Britain’s vote to leave the European Union. “The rise of new digital technologies together with the smartphone has allowed the emergence of a new situation,” Havsteen-Mikkelsen told Dezeen. “Every user has become his or her own media-platform, thereby allowing the targeting of specific information through the development of psychometric algorithms.”
Photography by Asmund Havsteen-Mikkelsen