The Virus and Utopias

James Gillray (1756-1856), London 1802, cartoon cowpox vaccine. and opponents. Photo: Wikipedia.

The idea of Utopia thrives particularly well in times of crises. The exhibition explores this phenomenon. Future visions for a better world usually emerge during a crisis.

There are scores of other examples from history of utopias and visions of the future that emerged during times of crises.

The coronavirus pandemic is the most profound seismic shift since World War II. So it’s no surprise that all kinds of interpretations and blueprints for the future are being thrown about. The exhibition (Virus – Crisis – Utopia) spins together some of the past and future threads.

A look back shows how vast the breadth of utopian thinking has always been.

Some Utopias turned out to be prophetic visions with a high level of realistic possibility, others were purely fantasies.

This is also the case with today’s (post) coronavirus utopias. The spectrum ranges from the meaningful and ingenious, to the totally warped. But which is which?