NEoN 11’s international art exhibition runs from 11th Nov until 27th Jan 2012, at the Hannah Maclure Centre, and features the work of N55 – a Copenhagen – based art collective that has been making functional art for over a decade. At the core of N55’s values is the idea of art being part of everyday life and their installations have included floating platforms and living structures, urban-farming plant modules, floating fish farms, and even a mobile bar.
N55’s projects cover the practical and political – one of their most long standing and popular projects is Land, which encourages people to donate property for public use. Parcels of land have been contributed to this in the US, Denmark, Switzerland, Norway, Sweden and France. The land is maintained by whoever is currently using it.
Starting out as an artists group in 1995, N55 originally consisted of 12 members living together in the same apartment in the centre of Copenhagen, trying to ‘rebuild the city from within’. The space was used as a launch pad for their functional art projects which were financed by grants and education work. N55 is non-commercial, and all the projects are created and documented expressly so that other people can use and refine them. It has been said that N55 make ‘open source domestic technology’. Their work is efficient, witty and aesthetically challenging – their Shop caused some consternation at the Glasgow Centre for Contemporary Arts; goods were exchanged, borrowed and taken, but no money was involved. The Shop enjoyed further success in 2003 with an apexart exhibition in New York.
The NEoN team are extremely proud and happy to be able to bring artists with such a forward-thinking manifesto and international reputation to Dundee, and in these times of economic meltdown and recession it will be empowering to see that by working together and seeking alternatives to the status quo there could be a good life for everyone.