International Biennial of Contemporary Art Ljubljana,
23 June - 24 September 2000
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Roland Boden
  *1962, lives in Dresden

Urban Modular Shelter Units (UMSU), 2000, installation

Roland Boden believes that art cannot be merely a superficial decoration of the technical world. He creates various modules made of concrete slabs and lead-metal to produce some kind of metaphoric models. He erects them mostly in the big cities of the world in the form of towers, tunnels and bridges. In this way, he strives to highlight the issues of urban development. One of them is the growing aestheticism of mainly political and public space. The second urgent problem is echoed in the increasing need for greater social safety, fuelled by the feeling of endangerment. We feel threatened by our neighbours, immigrants and criminals, so that our private space is being increasingly consolidated and controlled. A similar development can be sensed also in the public space, which is increasingly encroaching on the private space. The proposed work of art takes an ironic look at the public space. It represents a series of standardised systems for passive safety. The system is of mobile design that can be configured into different combinations in any place. Its use in difficult places is simple and fast. The units are also visually attractive because their design is rather appealing. The units are computer-generated and are not meant as real units. They are incorporated into a combined public space. A suburban or some similar area was envisaged. Their integration is thus adapted to the organic structure of the public space, so that the observer is made to think that this is typical urban design. This implant represents the expression of the ever-present violence and aggression, which are the constraints of society.

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