International Biennial of Contemporary Art Ljubljana,
23 June - 24 September 2000
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Cankarjev Dom
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Paul Noble
  *1963, lives in London

Lidonob, 2000, graphite on paper

Paul Noble produces paintings, drawings, photographs, constructions, installations, and also publishes small books. Much of his art consists of unfinished series of primarily imaginative content. His most ambitious project, which has been in progress since 1995, involves the urban planning of an imaginary city and its immediate vicinity called Nobsontown. It is an ironic commentary - with a unique brand of humour - on late 20th century urbanisation. Particularly eloquent is his motto: no style, no technique, no accidents, only mistakes. Today's urban processes in fact do not lead to well-designed and organised built-up city clusters, they do not support urban centralisation or concentration, but rather, tend towards ever greater dispersal. Thus the role of the city is being transferred to a kind of a broader urban environment; city limits are being obliterated, and the idea of the community of a given city is vanishing. Paul Noble published a small book titled Nobson Newtown, a fairy tale of the origins of the founding and building of a new town. In order to build a new town, the old one had to be torn down. But before doing so, the town inhabitants were asked to provide proposals for a healthy urban centre. In the design of the new town, the temples, or spaces for worshipping religious cults, and government buildings were left out according to the wishes of the people, because they simply did not need them. Just like other towns, Nobsontown also has a park intended primarily for recreation; a cave linked to the cults of the ancestors and their religious rituals; a club where people gather regardless of their social status and material wealth, and a city centre. The club and the city centre are the two features, in particular, that resemble no other such place in a conventional town. The club because it has no specific regulations, and the city centre, because it is non-existent. There is only an empty plot of land. All of these urban elements are divided into districts. The residential district and all the architecture in general are based on principles of geometric bases which clearly define their basic function.

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