Utopia Station draws from the MCA’s artists’ books collection and the MCA Collection of posters which were created for the 50th Biennale exhibition held in Venice. The posters were created by artists to discuss the idea of utopia, which in ancient Greek means good place or non place. While this call elicited an enormous variety of responses to the ancient search for paradise, the posters and artists’ books presented here focus on a few themes that expand the possibilities of social harmony.
The works presented illustrate the process of developing utopian ideas from four themes: the initial stages of hope to technological applications; the ongoing struggle to create paradise through war and peace; love, as both a physical state and a state of mind; and how the environment or social landscape is often where utopian experimentation takes shape.
As part of this exhibition, Peace Salon by Erin O’Brien takes place on Friday and Saturday, July 4 and 5, and July 18 and 19, from noon to 4 pm on the MCA Plaza. On Veteran’s Day 2007, O’Brien shaved her head as her response to war. In an effort to extend this gesture to the public, O’Brien offers to shave off the hair of those willing to make a commitment to peace. The Peace Salon also serves as a space for critical analysis, thought, and dialogue. O’Brien says that the piece is an everyday reminder that when looking in the mirror one should recognize one’s connection to a larger system.
With the launch of this website, the MCA has created a platform for archiving and publishing images and stories from our 50-year history. Though many exhibition pages currently lack descriptions or illustrations, we’re committed to a program of ongoing research that will fill in the blanks over time. If you have information about past MCA exhibitions to share, we’d be delighted to hear from you.