Artphilein Logo


Utopia: a perfect place or no place?

The third edition of the Artphilein Photobook Contest is open. The award grants the winner with the production of a photobook to be published by Artphilein Editions, a residency and an exhibition at the Artphilein Library space in Lugano/Paradiso.

To participate click here

Every utopian vision shares the belief in a possible change, in a different future. However, the definition and understanding of utopia are inherently ambiguous and indefinite on multiple fronts, starting from its etymology – eu (good) + topos or ou (non) + topos – to connected meanings and concrete implementations: is it positive or negative? Is it a connotation of a desirable future or mere criticism of the present? Is it a projection of a fantastic vision or a dangerous totalitarian drift? Is it a better elsewhere or the worst solution?

Despite the repeated failures of past utopias – be they political, social or ideological – while fully aware of this uncertainty, we continue to be attracted by unreality and unfeasibility, by technological, ecological and communal utopias, by the chimera of a perfect place or a non-existent one.

In a historical moment of crisis and conflict, the theme of utopia is alive and kicking, offering a variety of interpretations and approaches to the search for a better future. 
How does contemporary photography confront utopian visions and dimensions today?

The members of the jury are Michela Becchis, Caterina De Pietri, Anne Nwakalor and Ronald Pizzoferrato.