Atelier Van Lieshout SlaveCity / Male Slave University

Description:
Exhibition view at Gallery Bob van Orsouw. Artwork made and copyrighted by Atelier Van Lieshout. Image © Atelier Van Lieshout. Used here by kind permission from the artist. All rights reserved.

Created:
2007

Atelier Van Lieshout SlaveCity / 5 Star Male Brothel

Description:
Artwork made and copyrighted by Atelier Van Lieshout. Image © Atelier Van Lieshout. Used here by kind permission from the artist. All rights reserved.

Created:
2006

Atelier Van Lieshout SlaveCity / Female Slave University

Description:
Artwork made and copyrighted by Atelier Van Lieshout. Image © Atelier Van Lieshout. Used here by kind permission from the artist. All rights reserved.

Created:
2006

Atelier Van Lieshout SlaveCity / Female Slave University, wire frame

Description:
Artwork made and copyrighted by Atelier Van Lieshout. Image © Atelier Van Lieshout. Used here by kind permission from the artist. All rights reserved.

Created:
2006

Atelier Van Lieshout SlaveCity / Luxury Female Brothel

Description:
Artwork made and copyrighted by Atelier Van Lieshout. Image © Atelier Van Lieshout. Used here by kind permission from the artist. All rights reserved.

Created:
2006

Atelier Van Lieshout SlaveCity / Mini Modular Brothel, 16 units

Description:
Artwork made and copyrighted by Atelier Van Lieshout. Image © Atelier Van Lieshout. Used here by kind permission from the artist. All rights reserved.

Created:
2006

Atelier Van Lieshout SlaveCity / Sanitary Unit

Description:
Artwork made and copyrighted by Atelier Van Lieshout. Image © Atelier Van Lieshout. Used here by kind permission from the artist. All rights reserved.

Created:
2006

Atelier Van Lieshout SlaveCity / Selection Centre

Description:
Artwork made and copyrighted by Atelier Van Lieshout. Image © Atelier Van Lieshout. Used here by kind permission from the artist. All rights reserved.

Created:
2007

Atelier Van Lieshout SlaveCity / Urban Plan

Description:
Artwork made and copyrighted by Atelier Van Lieshout. Image © Atelier Van Lieshout. Used here by kind permission from the artist. All rights reserved.

Created:
2005

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Atelier Van Lieshout
SlaveCity

SlaveCity is an imaginary city and contemporary concentration camp designed by Atelier Van Lieshout, narrating the history, organization, economy, policies, university system, and subjection of its citizens in a fully designed and realized “utopian” scenario.

The real and organic form of the city has been built from an ecological perspective, where the models of the habit units describe not only the living spaces, but the general functions and organization of this creatively conceived city as well.

To be a professor is the only job paid in SlaveCity, illustrating the focus on educational facilities as the ironic backbone of the entire society. The Female Slave University, for example, is an elegant education centre, its 12 auditoriums piled up and surrounded by slopes functioning as a contemporary labour camp. On top of the Slave universities, for female and male separately, there is a meeting room for the professors, while the other rooms are designed for those slaves the education of who must function in efficient parameters and according to the social, political and economical objectives of SlaveCity. The university is open 24/7, with the slaves being educated in 7 hour shifts: 7 hours of study, 7 hours of work on the grounds / supportive activities to maintain the order and cleanness of the city, 7 hours of rest and 3 hours of personal care dedicated to eating, washing and relaxing. The university facility alone has been built to offer room for 1896 students, with 632 places to work, 632 sleeping accommodations and 124 toilet units linked to an environmentally friendly bio gas installation.

From energy to the inhabitants as well, SlaveCity recycles its resources continuously in a perfectly closed system. Material and human waste are recycled and thus regenerate and reinstate the founding principles underlying the moral foundations of this society. In doing so, it emphasizes current ethical and aesthetic values, ideas on nutrition, environmental protection and preservation, social organization and efficiency, in order to reinterpret this production system and emulate a “natural” perspective that freely justifies all other constraints.

Sabin Bors

Other inhabitants work 7 hours a day on various services such as customer service, IT, telemarketing or computer programming, but they are not paid for their work. Instead of receiving payment, they have the opportunity to go to a brothel, with more luxurious brothels being available for the high class slaves.

In the central public area of this city, a “baroque” shopping centre built on 26 floors creates a 24/7 consumer paradise, where shops and facilities ranging from  brothels, recreational and entertainment areas, luxury and clothing stores, art and design galleries, food suppliers, or health departments including pharmacies, medical facilities, beauty salons or cosmetic surgery facilities.

But this utopian project is also built to be extremely rational, efficient and profitable, generating 7,8 billion euro every year for a population of 200.000 inhabitants. The efficiency is given by a very strict and drastic set of values, ethics, aesthetics, morals, organization and management, with a market designed to fully sustain any food, energy, and economical issues. While the efficiency of the inhabitants is accurately monitored and appropriate measures are taken if activity parameters drop under a set level, SlaveCity is also the first “zero energy” town of this size in the world, functioning without any imported mineral fuel or electricity.

As an image of a not very distant society, mixing elements of the classical dystopian literature of Orwell or Huxley, SlaveCity is the embodiment of ideals that seize ethics and liberty, authorize servitude and stress the quandaries faced by today’s society.

FACTS:
Built surface: 900.000 m2
Total surface: 60 km2
Participants: 200.000
Employees: 3.500
Total investment: 1.860 million
Annual profit: 7.800 million
Arts budget: 78 million

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