Rotterdam

Rotterdam

Constant: New Babylon

Witte de With Center for Contemporary Art
Witte de Withstraat 50
November 22, 1998–January 10, 1999

In 1956, the Dutch painter Constant began an architectural and urban design project that he pursued obsessively for nearly twenty years. The New Babylon imagined a set of urban interruptions that would provide variable “atmospheres” to serve the new Homo ludens. Its thematics of freedom, pleasure, and programmatic flexibility continues to haunt architecture, and its multimedia presentation—drawings, paintings, models, films, and radio broadcasts—still amazes. Initiated by Witte de With director Bartemeo Mari and curated by architectural scholar Mark Wigley, this exhibition gathers an unprecedented range of artifacts to rethink Constants significance. The catalogue includes a selection of Constants own writings, many never before published.