Colony of Artists of Nida, Lithuania, s.d.
© archive photography from Yael Vishnizki Levi's research on Nida's political and cultural history
Monte Verità, tea house, s.d.
© Monte Verita Stiftung / Keystone
Klat 1440 ', ephemeral furniture, 24h performance, Espace Forde, Geneva, 1997
© all rights reserved
Thomas Hirschhorn, Eternal Flame, Palais de Tokyo, April-June 2014
© all rights reserved
Anonymous Commissioners and Construclab, Mons Invisible, Mons European Capital of Culture, 2015
© all rights reserved
Monstrare camp, Dampierre, 2016
© Monstrare

PhD - The patterns of utopia. Sharing-living-experiences-as-artist in the 21st century.

November 2017 to November 2021

By Mathilde Chénin
Beginning of the dissertation : November 2017
Scheduled end of the dissertation : November 2021
Co-direction HEAD : Olivier Desvoignes
Co-direction EPFL : Luca Pattaroni
With the participation of artists residency program Moly Sabata

This research focuses on contemporary forms of cohabitation-as-artist, that is on groups of artists which specificity is to inhabit a place together and thus to share a particular bond to this place — a bond of familiarity, proximity and habituation —, and whether they reinvent the concept of utopia.
Nowadays sharing-living-experiences-as-artists seems taken in a paradoxical movement: on the one hand, according to the institutions and artists who carry such initiatives, those forms of life still evoke the promise of a utopian and emancipatory horizon. One the other hand, they seem doomed in the contemporary art world to a neutralized becoming-installation, to be nothing more than a creative mode amongst others.
Taking artistic residency and its heterotopic dimension as a field of investigation, this research considers whether and in what way those communities of life produce utopian imagination, or in other words forms, gestures, discourses and representations which propose alternatives to the established order.

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