© 2017 Peter C Chen, Peter Victor King & Grey Margins. All Rights Reserved.

Perspectives from the Ideal City

2009-2012

Perspectives from the Ideal City features a series of panoramic prints that document the current conditions of selected landmarks and civic structures that had, at some point or another, contributed to the identity of the nation. These structures are now at various states of abandonment, stasis or disappearance. The images reflects on how radically the city has departed from utopian models of idealised urban typologies, most notably the renaissance Prospettivas, 'Vedute della Citta Ideale', commonly referred to as the Urbino, Baltimore and Berlin panels. Accepting this as a starting blueprint that offered so much promise and imagination through the windows of the cities they depicted, the project viewed these stark idealized landscapes represented a model city in all its rational clarity, with all its requisite civic iconography - a bibliotheque, a colosseum, a palazzo, an obelisk, a tempietto - laid out in full Cartesian logic.

 

These depictions of the ideal city offer a sublime counterpoint to our own - both represent prototypes of idealized urban constructions but one was ultimately realized through deliberate planning, regulation and effort as technocratically possible. This visual survey of the resultant urbanscape will reveal a radical modernization that seems to have undermined its traditional role of consolidating a collective identity for which it represents, and calls into question whether architecture is still responsible for urban form, and if urban form can still have the power to consolidate shared social meaning. As the last vestiges of post-independent architecture start to vanish, we are left with a series of these questions as to whether we have been liberated from history, or burdened by development. This evidence allows us to examine our attitudes and beliefs toward a city of a seemingly provisional nature in hope that it will eventually reveal what we know and assume about our self identity.

Prints are available in a Limited Edition collection. 

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