Q: How will I see Constant’s work or ideas back in the experiences?
A: That actually differs in every experience. In the experiences ‘We willen onze dagen niet vullen met spijt’ en ‘Echo’s van het vergeten’ New Babylon has become an echo from the past, existing only in memory. In ‘Het verleden van een toekomststad’ New Babylon has become a dystopian place. And in ‘Blooming New Babylon’ you get a tour through New Babylon model, de Grote gele sector, 1967.
In ‘We willen onze dagen niet vullen met spijt’ the designers have used actual furniture from Constant’s house in their experience and in ‘Echo’s van het vergeten’ the designer based her choice of colours in the experience on Constant’s coloristic works from his late period.
Q: What is de Grote gele sector and how is it involved in Enter New Babylon?
A: Grote gele sector, 1967 is a model that Constant made for his New Babylon project. It turned out to be the second last model he would make for the project the last one being Fragment of a sector in 1969. De grote gele sector is an elaborate model of stairs and connections elevated off the ground. Slabs of yellow plexiglass give the model it’s yellow shine and its name.
When peering into the model one could imagine elaborate climbing and skate activity in the space. In 2018 it caught the attention of Dennis Molema who wanted to create a virtual version of the model. It is that virtual presentation of the model that would become the surroundings for the different experiences in Enter New Babylon.
Q: How does Enter New Babylon relate to the Theorie Collages Constant made in 1974?
A: In 1974 Constant concludes his New Babylon project with an exhibition at Gemeentemuseum Den Haag. As a thank you gift to his long time friend and the director of the museum, Hans Locher, he made the Theorie Collages series. In the collages he uses fragments of texts from his New Babylon manifest.
Several of the writers and designers in the Enter New Babylon project used these collages as a reference or as source for the experiences they created. Also scenographer Guus van Geffen used prints of the collages in the beautiful scenography he build for the installation at A Lab.