September 11th, 2018



Le Corbusier’s Villa Savoye // Photo by Laurence Baulch, Creative Commons

In 1931, Swiss architect Le Corbusier completed arguably his most famous building Villa Savoye, a reinforced-concrete modernist manifesto, and last week, Danish artist Asmund Havsteen-Mikkelsen sunk it in the Vejle Fjord.

Well, not really. He built a scale model of Villa Savoye and submerged it in water as a comment on Brexit and Trump: “I think the Russians and Cambridge Analytica have been cunning enough to see the potentials of psychometric profiles to influence and manipulate voters via the internet. Through this meddling, a certain sense of democracy has ‘sunk’.”

People really love or hate Le Corbusier. Obviously, Havsteen-Mikkelsen believes he represented some sort of democratic ideal, while social scientists have blamed his urban planning theories for the fated low-income housing projects in post-war America.  (This contradiction was embodied by Dali, who counted Le Corbusier as a “friend” even though his “death filled (Dali) with an immense joy.”)

It’s ironic that Flooded Modernity is meant to criticize the encroaching fascist tendencies of  far-right governments when Le Corbusier himself has lately been accused of being a fascist. How very 2018!