Cadavre Exquis at the London Design Biennale
Among the 37 notions of utopia at the first-ever London Design Biennale, the Polish pavilion focuses on the journey instead of the destination. “Cadavre Exquis: An Anatomy of Utopia” is curated by Maria Jeglińska, founder of Warsaw-based Office for Design & Research, and Klara Czerniewska, an art historian, curator, and writer.
Based on the surrealist drawing game, the exhibition forgoes a linear narrative for a more dynamic visitor experience. From the unrealized dreams of modernism to the crises in the 21st century, utopia is rendered as fragments of the collective subconscious. Taken together, visitors are invited to navigate their own utopia — or dystopia — through six thematic elements. Binaries such as cloud/sun and house/high-rise ultimately yield a familiar yet uncanny vision of the past and future alike.
On view at Somerset House until 27 September, “Cadavre Exquis: An Anatomy of Utopia” reflects Jeglinska and Czerniewska’s shared ambition to challenge the legacy of utopia as a notional space. Thus, the game serves as a platform for both ambiguity and critical analysis.