Chertlüdde, Berlin

“Utopias are for Birds”

For its second participation in ART-O-RAMA, Marseille, ChertLüdde is pleased to present a solo project by Spanish artist Alvaro Urbano, titled “Utopias are for Birds”.

Urbano started several years ago to research utopian house plans and home designs – historical visionary projects that were never realised. Starting from these utopian designs, the artist produced birds’ houses as sculptures and collages that follow directly or include the original architectural sketches.

The idealistic designs by Claude Nicolas Ledoux’s Maison des Directeur de la Loue (1799) and Projet d’atelier des Charbonniers (1804) were the first to inspire Urbano and remained a reference throughout the whole project. The birds’ houses presented at ART-O-RAMA 2017 are also based on drawings by architects Yona Friedman, John Hejduk, and the avant-garde architecture firm SuperStudio.

Urbano’s fantastic objects turn utopian architecture to the idyllic world of birds. Ideal design is applied to an everyday object such as a birdhouse and yet becomes even more graceful and ideal precisely because birds embody unconstrained freedom of movement. “Utopias are for Birds” includes sculptures, collages and feather cushions. The displayed bird’s house sculptures are made for outdoors and are intended to be hanged from trees, providing a nest for birds. Thus, birds can ultimately become actors and performers in the art work. The diorama collages complete the presentation. These are cut-outs from the artist’s collection of architecture books, combined with illustrations of birds, themselves cut-outs from the artist’s ornithological books collection. The diorama collages suggest a fictional three-dimensional object, again nodding to the idea of exemplar built spaces and their inhabitants.