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Gareth Moore Destroys His Utopian Village at Documenta

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After two years of building and expansion, Gareth Moore began tearing down his documenta village in Kassel on Monday, ahead of the exhibition’s close this Sunday, the 16th. Moore brought in heavy construction vehicles to begin the process of dismantling the improvised town, aiming to set the area back to exactly how it looked before his arrival.

The Canadian artist began his village, set in the far reaches of the Karlsaue Park, in 2010, constructing each building only using discarded materials.  Marked by a sign between trees, visitors walked along a narrow path until entering a clearing that held a typical array of village utilities and lodgings: houses, an inter-faith temple, a pharmacy, and a bodega of sorts. Should one want to stay in what could best be described as looking like a rag-tag commune, there is even a hotel.

Moore began living in his little utopia in spring of 2011 and has continued to build it since, culling windows from the Brothers Grimm Museum during a renovation and grabbing a washing machine out of the park maintenance crew’s trash area. Undoubtedly, the construction of the numerous, purpose-built cabins throughout the Karlsaue provided a steady source of wood scraps during the lead up to Carolyn Christov-Bakargiev’s exhibition.

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