Castle of Vooruit by Ahmet Öğüt
On Friday 4 September the helium balloon Castle of Vooruit was floating over Stortorget in Lund. The installation is part of the exhibition Floating Utopias.
The large installation Castle of Vooruit by Kurdish artist Ahmet Öğüt (born in 1981) condenses a complex set of utopian ideas into one single surreal image. Castle of Vooruit takes inspiration from the socialist history of the city of Ghent, Belgium, where the installation was first displayed in 2012. On top of the floating structure is Vooruit (‘Forwards’), a cooperative centre in Ghent where the city’s working class assembled from the end of the nineteenth century until the 1970s.
The work also references Le Château des Pyrénées, a famous painting by Belgian Surrealist painter René Magritte depicting an immense floating rock with a small castle on top of it. Ögüt’s floating sculpture replaces the opulent private castle with a social centre, which is a clear political comment. He works in a wide range of media including photography, video and installation and often engages with public spaces.