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The So-Called Utopia of the Centre Beauborg: An Interpretation

Luca Frei (2007)

£25.00

Appearing under the pseudonym Gustave Affeulpin in 1976, and coinciding with the inauguration of the Centre Beaubourg in Paris, Albert Meister’s fictional text La soi-disant utopie du centre Beaubourg imagines a radical libertarian space submerged beneath the newly erected center-piece of French Culture. In a world turned upside down, the seventy-six storeys submerged beneath the official centre for culture provide a platform for alternative modes of work and creation. Reporting, in sometimes hysterical, sometimes more poetic language, and with tongue firmly in cheek, the narrator recounts the vacillations of free organisation, in a satire that never takes its eye of the main target: state sponsored culture.

This is the first translation and publication of La soi-disant utopie du centre Beaubourg in English, a project undertaken by the artist Luca Frei as an attempt to both revitalise a significant cultural treatise incorporating many elements of Meister’s sociological thinking, and to reflect upon the subjective role of the artist in transferring ideas from one cultural framework and era to another.

Co-published by Book Works and CASCO, Utrecht. It is the second in a series of co-publishing partnerships initiated by Book Works, entitled Fabrications, commissioned and edited by Gerrie van Noord.

The So-Called Utopia of the Centre Beauborg: An Interpretation | Frei, Luca; | Commission: Fabrications | Editor: van Noord, Gerrie; | ISBN: 978 1 870699 99 0 | Price: £25.00 | Classifications: Experimental writing; Projected futures/pasts; Unreliable narrative; | Format: Offset printing; | Extent: 208 pages | Edition: 1,000 copies | Dimensions: 200 x 125 mm | Publisher: Book Works and CASCO, Utrecht | Designer: Luca Frei; | Printer: Die Keure, Bruges

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