19 January to 24 March 2019
Preview: Friday 18 January, 6–9pm
New Eelam is a real estate technology company founded by artist Christopher Kulendran Thomas in order to develop a global housing subscription based on collective co-ownership rather than individually owned private property. Initiated as a long-term artwork in the form of a startup, the venture has brought together an interdisciplinary team of specialists across the fields of technology, art, real estate, finance and architecture to explore how a more liquid form of citizenship could be constructed beyond national boundaries.
Developed in collaboration with curator Annika Kuhlmann, New Eelam originates from contemporary art’s role in reimagining cities, from styles of living to forms of labour. New Eelam’s ‘concept space’ at Spike Island – part of the company’s research and development process – is a sci-fi vision of an alternate reality, featuring technologies such as hydroponic home-farming systems presented here as living sculptures. Within this immersive environment, visitors can view New Eelam’s speculative documentary, 60 million Americans can’t be wrong, which introduces the post-capitalist housing proposal. Taking as a departure point the once self-governed – but now non-existent – homeland from which the artist’s Sri Lankan Tamil family originates, the film looks at the political and historical horizons of the venture. The exhibition also features a collection of micro videos that explore how a new economic model could emerge out of the existing economic system rather than in opposition to it.
This first UK presentation of New Eelam provides a timely opportunity to consider new possibilities for the architecture and experience of citizenship.
New Eelam: Bristol is supported by Arts Council England and co-commissioned with lille3000, with additional support from Greens Hydroponics. Furniture is generously loaned by HAY.
New Eelam is presented with thanks to Institute for Modern Art, Brisbane; Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago; Schinkel Pavilion, Berlin; and Triple Canopy.
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