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Flooded Modernity: a casa inundada de Asmund Havsteen-Mikkelsen

As a critique of modern society, the work shows Villa Savoye partially submerged

Displayed at the Floating Art festival 2018, in the town of Vejle, Denmark, a obra Floating Modernity, do artist Asmund Havsteen-Mikkelsen, represents a famous modernist work by Le Corbusier, villa savoye, partially submerged. The work rescues fundamental principles of the use of art as a tool for social criticism.


“My work is a critical commentary on the present, an attempt to draw attention to the importance of modernity and how we are going to deal with its legacy”, affirms Havsteen-Mikkelsen.

According to the artist, the geopolitical events of recent years have been and still are intensely affected by the advance of digital media. this interference, which best manifests itself in the manipulation of political and democratic decisions, challenges the classical notions of modernity.


To translate this concept visually, in a work of art, Havsteen-Mikkelsen used another work famous for its influence on art movements and modern architecture. villa savoye, by French-Swiss urban planner Édouard Jeanneret-Gris, known by the pseudonym Le Corbusier, was originally designed as a summer home for a French family, and it was the first work in which the architect was able to include all his 5 points of modern architecture.

The points – free facade, tape windows, stilts, terrace garden and free plan – became the basis of modern architecture and can be observed throughout Europe and also in Brazil, in works such as Casa de Vidro and MASP, by architect Lina Bo Bardi, and the Planalto Palace, by Oscar Niemeyer.

Partially submerged in Vejle fjord, the replica of Villa Savoye raises questions. Those who observe it could risk and say that the pillars of modernity are sinking.

O Festival Floating Art 2018

O Floating Art 2018 counted on 10 works by young artists, was organized by the Art Museum of the city of Vejle and aimed to explore art that actively dialogues with society, using water as a theme and setting.

On occasion, Havsteen-Mikkelsen installed the work using cranes and used several maintenance tools, which is very important to keep the work preserved. Flooded Modernity is a replica of proportion 1:2, meaning it is half the size of Villa Savoye. The work was made of plywood, with acrylic windows and polystyrene blocks that allowed it to float.

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Flooded Modernity just appears to be a complete house, but in reality she is only half. Havsteen-Mikkelsen made the design 25 times, thinking about the best possible position of the elements and with a lot of effort to capture all the details of the original work. The artist even painted the replica 9 times, and all the effort can be observed in the records that show how the 5 Le Corbusier stitches were kept, even placed in a new context.

The festival ended on the day 2 September 2018, was successful in its proposal and undoubtedly provided the creation of yet another work that lives up to the role of art as a means of criticism, observations and analyzes of our sociocultural context.

Text prepared by the Conversion team +.

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