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Levitt France

A residential utopia

Julie Balagué (1986), Vincent Fillon (1977), Bruno Fontana (1977), Jean Noviel (1973), Camille Richer (1993)

The project Levitt France: a residential utopia looks back at an ambitious project conducted in the early 1970s, which sought to build American-style towns in Île-de-France. This little-known project, which influenced the design of suburban Île-de-France (under the auspices of the company Levitt France, named after the father of the American suburb, William Levitt) bore an idea that was to revolutionize construction: the serial building of standardized houses in a very short time period on a few hectares, with as many as 1,700 houses among four towns. With the architectural research that this new construction technique implied, Levitt’s town is a model of utopia. Five photographers take up this utopia, each from a different angle. Does the Levitt venture depict the essence of self-segregation, or its anxieties? Does it depict the Americanism found most notably in video clips and movies? Is it stuck in the past as a time bubble? Is it the outcome of a modernity inconsistent with the French spirit?
Béatrice Andrieux

Exhibition curator: Béatrice Andrieux.
Associated author: Isabelle Gournay.
Prints by Processus, Paris.
Framing by Plasticollage and Circad, Paris, and Europlast, Aubervilliers.