NUTOPIA is a series of photo-collages presenting an alternative utopian society (CCCN – The Coalition of Confederate City-states of Nutopia). The futuristic and surrealist playful narrative, that draws its first inspiration from 20th Century’s architectural movements, connects with my intrinsic need to escape the crude reality; and therefore aims to offer that to other viewers too. A chance to escape the too-long list of the ultra-nationalist, anti-humanist, racist, misogynist and homophobic extremists/extremisms present in our day-to-day reality: Brexit, Trump, Abascal, Bolsonaro, Le Pen, Duterte, Modi, Orban, … A chance to engage with that escapism via the crossover between fiction and reality, from mere visual aesthetic enjoyment to a deeper connection with the further political and conceptual elements.
WE – THE NUTOPIAN MANIFESTO
Article I: WE is Liberation. WE is Cooperation.
Article II. WE is Trans-feminism. WE is Queer. We is Multiculturalism, Transnationalism & Localism. WE is Creed & Secularism.
Article III: WE is Difference. WE must work towards the liberation of the oppressed.
Article IV: WE is Care. WE is Female. WE is Communication.
Article V: WE is Municipalism. WE is Decentralisation. WE is Participatory Democracy. WE has no Supreme Leader or Heads of the Confederate City-states.
Article VI: WE is Deceleration. WE is Flowers, Animals and Nature. WE must stop stupid Mankind destroying Planet Earth.
Article VII: WE is Emotional Intelligence. WE is Art & Science. WE is Libraries & Museums.
Article VIII: WE is Peace. WE is Welcome.
Article IX: WE is Progress. WE is Dreams.
Article X: WE is THE IMPOSSIBLE.
Each image has been assembled by taking elements from photos of buildings, landscapes and ordinary objects found in urban spaces. All the elements used in the project come from over 100 unique photos that have been taken using both digital and film cameras in different cities/locations across 11 countries. This supports the conscious aim to include an underlying notion of multiculturalism and transnationalism to this imagined society. A playful mass-tourism element intends to push back into the realm of reality. In order to provide a strong urban and cultural landscape for Nutopia I have investigated key architectural and political movements, visual utopian/dystopian narratives and explored the study of perspective, having been particularly influential: science fiction novels such as Thomas More’s Utopia & the dystopian We by Yevgeny Zamyatin; the Surrealist Manifesto & artists such as René Magritte; Master of the Impossible M.C. Escher & the perspective and composition of The Città Ideale Urbino.
Luke & The Pool is an under the water photographic essay. The juxtaposed images aim to tempt the viewer to recall different sensations and emotions: such as the isolating intimate feeling of the space generated under water; or the different sensorial experiences that are created by the synthesis of temperature, light, textures, sound, exteriors, gravity, etc. The series includes both faceless portraits and abstract photography. David Hockney pool paintings and Edward Ruscha's nine pools are a key influence for this series.