Loading Events

Alain BublexPlug-in City


  • Archive, Archive Exhibitions, Exhibition

  • July 3, 2003 - December 30, 2003
  • Galleries

On July 3, 2003, MASS MoCA presented the first United States one-person exhibition of the work of French artist Alain Bublex, featuring selections from his series Plug-in City (2000) in the Works on Paper and Meehan Galleries. Alain Bublex’s artistic practice hovers somewhere between thoughtful historical investigations of city planning and a fanciful, poetic interface with urban reality. In some of his projects, Bublex dusts off urban planning proposals of the 20th century that were dismissed as utopian, and attempts to bring them to life. His photographic works become vantage points from which to view the potential transformation of the environment. The show was presented in conjunction with Fantastic, MASS MoCA’s exhibition of the works of five artists who embraced a world of hallucinatory, visionary, and utopian ideas.

The Plug-In City (2000) project was based on a proposal drawn up in 1964 by the English architect Peter Cook, a member of the experimental Archigram group. Cook, a visionary architect and urban planner, imagined a form of disposable and mobile urban design in which homes and bridges can simply be snapped on or plugged in. The proposal consisted of enormous building frameworks where many standardized and interchangeable cells could be connected. In providing a continually shifting landscape, the town would meet the immediate needs of its inhabitants, in a permanent state of movement and change. Peter Cook’s project was, of course, dismissed as utopian and never built. However, Bublex has found its legacy alive and well in the form of the prefab bungalows used on large construction sites. His Plug-In City series allows a viewer to entertain the possibility of Peter Cook’s proposal coming to life with the assistance of these modular, transitory homes. Bublex finds hints of past utopias in the contemporary world.

Alain Bublex was born in 1961 in Lyon, France. He studied at the Ecole des Beaux-Arts in Macon and the Ecole Superieure de Design Industriel in Paris. He lives in Lyon and works somewhere else. A former designer for automobile-maker Renault, Bublex’s most recent solo exhibition was at Galerie Georges-Philippe & Nathalie Vallois in Paris. His work is in the collection of the Fonds National d’Art Contemporain; Maison Europeenne de la Photographie, Paris; and FRAC Rhone-Alpes, FRAC Provence, FRAC Basse-Normandie, and FRAC Alsace.

Alain Bublex, Plug-In City
C-Prints and Diasec