UTOPIA: LESS IS MORE – AT THE DROP OF A HEAD
EUTOPIA, BACK TO THE ROOTS, OR IS EUROPE JUST OUT OF HER SKULL?
In its first edition, the map of Utopia took the shape of a human skull. In today’s EUtopia – grasping for the perfect society – the map might be otherwise. Therefore we are musing on today’s EUtopia by producing a new – tongue very much in cheek – utopian map as a symbolic wake-up call for Europe: exactly 500 years of Utopia – approximately 50 years of EUtopia.
BENOÎT VAN INNIS
MARCH 2016, MAALBEEK METRO STATION
A few months ago, the very heart of Brussels, Belgium, Europe was heavily afflicted. Close on the heels of the dirty bloodbaths in Paris, bombers viciously attacked Brussels Airport and the Maalbeek metro station. Aside from causing 30 deaths, injuring many people, and shocking a nation (and Europe), part of the metro station was destroyed, including an original mural created by Belgian artist Benoît van Innis (completed in 2000). The tiles depicted anonymous passengers on the move in Europe’s capital; the station is just one step away from the EU parliament and thus a popular hop-on point for Eurocrats.
HERE AND NOW
A few weeks after the attacks, Brussels and the city’s public transport company (STIB-MIVB) appointed the same artist to make a new series of tiles for the restored station as a testimony to that troubled day: not a group of anonymous passengers this time, but an olive tree – as a symbol of peace and hope, underlined by a poem by Federico García Lorca. In light of such an act of empathy and humanism, we thought it only right to ask Benoît van Innis to draw an updated Utopian map in the form of a hand-printed lithograph, with limited edition posters available for purchase. The drawing also graces the cover of this issue of DAMNo magazine, a homage to Sir Thomas More.
DAMNo wishes to thank all of our partners. Firstly, Benoît van Innis for his lithograph and his immediate ‘yes’; Pierre Bleue Belge for delivering the beautiful stone that so wonderfully expresses Belgitude; Frederik Delbart for his outstanding design; Van Den Weghe for so swift- ly and eloquently producing the table; Delta Light for illuminating the space; Flanders House – Embassy of Belgium in London for their spontaneous support; Fritz Hansen for the elegant chairs and last but not least, the London Design Biennale. Merci.