MULTICULTURAL

In 1516, Thomas More completed his novel ‘Utopia’. In what became his best known and most controversial work, he described the perfect political system and the habits and traditions within the imaginary island country of Utopia. The name of the state could refer to the Greek ou- topos (meaning: ‘no place’), but could also be a reference to eu- topos (which means: ‘good place’). After the publishing of the work a new artistic trend started: utopian art. Throughout history, mankind had dreams about a utopian paradise in past and future.

Do we want such an ideal society nowadays? A perfect community means that all inhabitants have to adapt themselves to the rules and laws of this society. That could mean the end of all individual freedoms we cherish so much in the 21th century. An ideal society can only be ideal if there is a balanced consensus between individual freedom and collective regulations.

The vision of Thomas More became the inspiration of 'Multicultural': a painted installation of artist Marcel Witte, existing out of forty small canvases, depicting a metropolis. In our always growing million cities, people live in identical skyscrapers with no consideration for privacy or personal creativity. This is the ‘no place’ of Thomas More. In all these identical units, undoubtedly people dream conscious and un- conscious dreams about ideal cities, with space for individualists and alternative thinkers. The metropolis of Marcel Witte is inhabited by a multicultural society. A society imagined by colored birds, from all kinds of countries and in all individual tonalities. An idealized image in which everyone lives together in perfect harmony with space for individuals and personal touch. This is the ‘good place’ of Thomas More. The work is dedicated to all inhabitants of million cities all over the world. Maybe, we all will live there once. Will our Utopian dreams be adjusted and/or destroyed? Or are million cities the only correct answer to the growing world population? What if we all move to perfect, ecological and idealistic created islands where living- working and playing go together in perfect harmony, while the rest of the earth surface is left to and given back to nature? Is this a utopian dream?