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ArgumentNo. 12/2020

Utopia. Dystopia. Concepts in Contemporary Architecture and Visual Arts

  • / PhD.c. arch., “George Enescu” National University of Arts, Iaşi, RO


The subject of this paper is the binomial relation between utopia and dystopia, but also the way in which those two concepts influence the visual cultural field. It can be said that in the current status, in which an absence of utopian ideals that are at the basis of the production of art, in the meaning that was associated by Walter Benjamin, is becoming obvious that dystopia has become not only accepted, but also integrated in all the levels of society, implicitly in the visual culture field. Looking at the big picture, it becomes clear that this apparent inevitability can be counteracted only by adhering to the concept of utopian impulse. Contemporary society tends to proliferate the idea that no one ever will propose the establishment or implementation of a dystopia, however, since the mid-twentieth century, artists, architects, film-makers and writers have developed and promoted a series of dystopian narratives, which brings to our attention the fact that we must always have a careful and critical approach to the genesis of the concept of utopia, as it was thought by Thomas More.


utopia, dystopia, visual culture, ideal city