In the first commission for an intervention in the central space of the new MAAT building, the French artist Dominique Gonzalez-Foerster (b. 1965) has been invited to create a site-specific work around the theme of the programme that opens the museum: “Utopia/Dystopia”.
Evoking a 21st century fairy tale, in this completely new installation, Gonzalez-Foerster allowed the visitors to become part of the work in a fun but also intriguing way. Pynchon Park (2019) was set in MAAT’s oval white arena of nearly a thousand square meters, strewn with Swiss balls and colourful carpets resembling open books. The playful lounge was covered in its entirety by a turquoise net and the access to it is limited by two large metal gates that only remained open for a short time. Sounds of the sea were audible in the entire space. A celestial body, perpetually on the horizon, which turned from hot sun to cold moon commanded a short cycle of day and night. For the artist this was a place where “extraterrestrials had decided to gather humans in order to observe and enjoy their behaviour.”
Pynchon Park appears following other by large-scale environments such as TH.2058 at Tate Modern, in London (2008), and Ballard Garden at deSingel (Antwerp, 2014), in which Gonzalez-Foerster combines different media, juxtaposes classic literary references and alludes to dystopian images taken from the universe of sci-fi.