east-tilburyworkington

Pope & Guthrie

East Tilbury Village Hall/Plaza Cinema

“Work collectively, live individually,” expounded Tomas Bata, founder of the international shoemaking empire. To that end, he housed his workers in purpose-built, functionalist-style model towns, boasting schools, sports halls, and other facilities. The first of these was founded in Bata’s hometown of Zlin, Czechoslovakia. Its ’20s modernist aesthetic notwithstanding, Zlin was much more Pullman, Illinois, than Dessau. Its main architect, František L. Gahura, reinterpreted Bata’s idea of “individual living” in somewhat cynical terms. “The man who has . . . a building with a garden is more stable,” he once wrote, “and instead of following politics would rather potter about in the garden or sit out on the lawn.”

For their project Bata-ville: We are not afraid of the future, 2005, artist duo Pope & Guthrie (Nina Pope and Karen Guthrie) procured a dazzling, mustard yellow bus bearing the

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