An enormous replica of Le Corbusier’s Villa Savoye has been half-sunk off a Danish fjord as part of Vejle’s Floating Art festival, writes Rita Lobo

A five-tonne, 6m tall model of Le Corbusier’s Villa Savoye has been towed into a fjord in Denmark and subsequently sunk as part of a summer art exhibition.

Created by Danish artist Asmund Havsteen-Mikkelsen, the installation appears as a half-submerged vision of a once visionary future. It’s also a critical comment on the importance of modernity today.

‘The project is a critical comment on the current status of modernity after the scandals of Cambridge Analytica, the Trump election and Brexit,’ says Havsteen-Mikkelsen.

‘For me, the Villa Savoye is a symbol of Modernity and Enlightenment. It represents the faith in the critical powers of the human mind in relation to progress and in our use of criticality in the public sphere,’ he adds.

‘After these scandals, I think our sense of democracy and the public sphere has been distorted through the new use of digital technologies to manipulate elections. Our sense of Modernity has been ‘flooded’. I sense the need to ‘re-state’ our political institutions – because our old ones have ‘sunk’.’

Havsteen-Mikkelsen has long studied Villa Savoye in his work. He has made 25 drawings of the house and painted it nine times before being commissioned to create the styrofoam replica for the Floating Art festival.

Along with Modulor Man, Villa Savoye is considered one of Le Corbusier’s most important work for encompassing his five new principles of architecture as a booth: the free facade, the house on pillars, the roof terrace, the open plan and the horizontal window band. This theory went on to have a major impact on modern European architecture.

Floating Art is a yearly festival by Vejle Art Museum which promotes the art of local young designers, artists, and architects. As well as the Havsteen-Mikkelsen’s Flooded Modernity, the 2018 programme includes a ‘message in a bottle’ installation created by artist Kristian Blomstrøm Johansson and the Red Cross and a floating carpet sculpture that moves with the fjord waters, by Tina Helen.

Floating Art is at Vejle Marina, Vejle, Denmark, until September 2