Launch of Utopia at Somerset House
On Monday morning at 9.45am, people gathered in Somerset House Quadrangle to witness the raising of the Utopian Flag; the synonymous icon of the happy hard-core smiley. Was this a Happy Monday?
Designed my Jeremy Dellar and graphic designer Fraser Muggeridge. The flag was accompanied by a discordant youth wind band, who played strange versions of music reminiscent of an anthem.
The early morning ceremony marked the celebration of the 500th anniversary of Thomas More’s 1516 text, Utopia, which is the main theme of a programme of events, talks and new artistic commissions that will be shown at Somerset House and Kings Cultural Institute throughout 2016.
Billed as a ‘Year of Imagination and Possibility’ the series of exhibitions, talks, performances, screenings, commissions and workshops celebrate the provocative thinking behind More’s 1516 text. It is, says the institution, a “year of artists, designers, provocateurs and thinkers experimenting with ways we might live, make, work and play”.
Thomas More was the first to give a name and form to an idea that has captured the human imagination throughout history: that by imagining a better world is possible, we are empowered to create it. The programme running at Somerset House works with leading thinkers, academics and artists to make space to re-imagine the role and influence of utopia.
As part of Pathways to Utopia, commissioned by Kings Cultural Institute, I’ve been selected to make a new sound installation, exploring whether or not the cultural pursuit of home ownership is actually as good for us as it’s made out to be. Working with economist James Wood and Sound and Music, The sound installation will be exhibited on the terrace at Somerset House, and be for 4 people at a time. It will be installed between July – September 2016.