House of Eutopia (2013)

With the installation House of Eutopia Filip Berte wants to examine and reveal the social, political, geographic and historical margins of Europe. As an observer of the margin and the outsider, Berte tries with House of Eutopia to make the visitor aware of this reality. Under the name of Eutopia Filip Berte has been constructing his house room by room at the CAMPO arts centre (Ghent, B) since 2006. He has exhibited and worked from Ghent to Berlin, Prague to Poznan and put the final touches to House of Eutopia in 2013 in Utrecht.

House of Eutopia, a sculptural work, is constructed like a house and consists of five rooms or installations. The process of building the House is as important as the final result. This means the House of Eutopia can be broken up into its separate independent parts or ‘rooms’, each of which can be set up anywhere individually. What is more, the principle of ‘pars pro toto’ applies to these rooms: each section reflects the whole, which is an architectural ‘Gesamtkunstwerk’.

Each room highlights an aspect that lies between the hidden history and possible future of Europe, between the cellar and the attic, between Collective Memory Mass Grave and White Space / Mirror. Filip Berte examines such themes as migration and borders (Protected Landscape), European citizenship (The Blue Room) or, in short, exclusion versus inclusion (The Graveyard). He does this in various media such as film, photos, painting, scale-models, viewing boxes and so on. Answers are not provided, on the contrary; House of Eutopia allows the spectator to observe the big picture that is Europe from the sidelines. By the way it is arranged, the installation invites one to confront the reverse side of Europe.

Berte believes that architecture can transfer knowledge, that it can act as a medium to evoke empathy in the spectator. In each room of House of Eutopia he creates a situation where he confronts the visitor with the place we live in and its boundaries in relative and absolute terms.