DE NOVA INSULA UTOPIA 2017
(UNGLAZED CERAMICS, ALUMINIUM PLATES, LASER-CUT PLYWOOD, VINTAGE BOOK PAGES)
Dorota Walentynowicz installation “De Nova Insula Utopia” is a direct reference to the first edition of Thomas More’s famous book “De optimo rei publicæ deque nova insula Utopia” (1516) in which the author described a perfect society and placed it on an imaginary island. Islands as test models for social systems have ever since become a very prolific topic both in literature and later also in cinema. The name “Utopia” stands for a “no-place”, however the first edition of the book was accompanied by a detailed map of its geography. Dorota Walentynowicz reproduced that shape of the “Utopia” island which she cut in a sheet of black-painted plywood and hung in front of an aluminum sheet; two ceramic tiles forming an open book are suspended upon another sheet placed on the floor below – their concrete form dispersed in metallic reflection.
In another room Dorota Walentynowicz placed on a wall an archipelago of pages ripped out of a book titled “Griechische Gemmen” published by Insel-Verlag in Wiesbaden (Germany) in 1957. The book, found in an antique shop in Germany, consists of high quality photographic representations of various gems adorned with figures which are collected in Museums across Germany. The work brings about the question of value and devaluation, both of the cultural heritage and of landscape – the Greek gems colonized by foreign capital.