Erik Sep has worked on his city installation for over a decade. With its current contours the layout of Neurotopia (.nl) is set as it has been presented in ever changing contours at many exhibition venues. The surface consists out of infrastructure and 'building lots'. These lots give space for his buildings. These are all separate sculptures with their own finished pedestals. When a sculpture sells a lot becomes vacant for a new sculpture / building. As in vibrant cities like Berlin and Rotterdam in Neurotopia new and finished buildings stand alongside sculptures / buildings still being developed.
With his miniature city, ‘Neurotopia’ artist Erik Sep depicts the malleability of life and society. By his recreation of our visible world, he opens up the path to a parallel world. Within his city the world as we know it is never far away. However, the buildings in Neurotopia allow for constructions not feasible in the real world and constructions that follow their own sense of scale and proportion.
September 16th, 2016, Neurotopia officially opened for public at a unique location right at the heart of Rotterdam, welcoming everyone to view its streets and buildings. Artist Erik Sep spent the summer of 2016 installing Neurotopia in full, thus creating a new starting point for further development of his city. At Art Rotterdam, 2017 Gallery Frank Taal proudly presents several of the city sculptures from Neurotopia.
As in a real city, Neurotopia experiences a constant process of construction, demolition, relocation, and redevelopment. As a characteristic of this process, one sees an inventive use of a broad scale of different materials. Erik Sep continually searches for new building blocks and applications, but above all for new views and ideas that he shares with the viewer. Throughout this process, new questions and dilemmas arise that challenge and spur him to continue the project.
For eleven years the city has been developing and thus grew its own and specific identity. Time left its traces on the city and became determining for the cities identity. Every building holds its own history. Sometimes these histories interact or culminate when for example one previously made building is being recycled into a new construction. Sometimes the process of the city is marked by fast changes, at other times it is slow going. The outcome is never known beforehand.
By making the choice to give himself to such a time-consuming process Sep temporarily breaks away from the volatile world in which we live. This composes his keen interest in architecture: architecture illustrates over long periods of time that nothing is truly set in stone in an ever-changing world. Architecture exposes the needs of man, yet at the same time, it creates these needs.
Within Neurotopia Sep presents us with alternatives for the way we shaped the world. The alterability of Neurotopia becomes clear with the option for people to acquire a single building from the city. When a building is acquired, its parcel is taken out of the floorplan of the city. The building changes into an independent city sculpture and is provided with a custom made plinth to support it. Additionally, a silkscreen print is issued which is numbered and contains the certificate of authenticity in the form of a city map of Neurotopia.
In this way the freed up parcel opens new opportunities for Neurotopia’s development.