Utopian futures: the Koppel Project launches The Hive residency space

The Koppel Project on exhibition
The Koppel Project in London inaugurates its new communal studio hub with a residency and resulting exhibition entitled ’Zone d’Utopie Temporaire’. Pictured: The Fall, by Julia Dreiski, 2016
(Image credit: Zone d’Utopie Temporaire (Z.U.T) at the Koppel Project Hive)

There's been an air of excitement surrounding London's newest contemporary art hub, the Koppel Project, since its launch in March. It's already onto its second venture – a new location in Holborn called The Hive.

While the original spot houses the UK's only Phaidon (opens in new tab) bookstore along with a communal artist's study room, The Hive contains 40 dedicated studios, spanning an enviable 3,500 sq m – something of a rarity for the space-strangled city of London. More exciting still is the equally expansive two-storey gallery, which will host a one-month exhibition every two months.

The first residency to occupy this progressive, expansive space is aptly named 'Zone d'Utopia Temporaire'. Curated by Alice Bonnot, the exhibition looks into shared ways of working towards a 'utopian' goal. If it sounds abstract, that's because it's meant to be. Dubbed a 'social and creative experiment' by the organisers, nine interdisciplinary young artists, two theorists and an art-historian were invited to use the residency in whatever way they wished, together or alone, responding to the word 'utopia'.

Influenced by each other's diverse practices – which range from sculpture to cinema – the resulting 'Temporary Utopian Zone' houses a forseeably eclectic array. Highlights include a foam four-piece suite from fine artist Thomas Langley, which nestles next to a series of quaint, wire-cotton embroidered wall-hangings from Julia Drieski, together forming a fantastical, futuristic living room.

This zone is a bold calling-card for The Hive, suggesting the curators are ambitious, forward-thinking and keen to promote emerging talent. Next up, an intriguing collaborative exhibition from the Koppel Project's creative director Gabriella Sonabend – 'From Myth to Earth' – which launches on 8 September. 'Since the Project opened in March,' she explains, 'we've been overwhelmed by the positive responses to both of our spaces and our cultural programme. It's so exciting to watch the project flourish and expand.'

Making of The Fall

Holborn’s The Hive contains 40 dedicated studios, spanning an enviable 3,500 sq m – something of a rarity in London. Pictured: making of The Fall, by Julia Dreiski, 2016

(Image credit: Zone d’Utopie Temporaire (Z.U.T) at the Koppel Project Hive)

Installation view on making of ’Zone d’Utopie Temporaire

More exciting still is the two-storey gallery, which will host a one-month exhibition every two months. Pictured: installation view, making of ’Zone d’Utopie Temporaire’

(Image credit: Zone d’Utopie Temporaire (Z.U.T) at the Koppel Project Hive)

Installation view on exhibition

Dubbed a ’social and creative experiment’ by organisers, nine interdisciplinary young artists, two theorists and an art-historian were invited to use the space in whatever way they wished, together or alone, responding to the word ’utopia’

(Image credit: Zone d’Utopie Temporaire (Z.U.T) at the Koppel Project Hive)

Installation view on foam four-piece suite

A foam four-piece suite from Thomas Langley forms a futuristic living room. Pictured: installation view, featuring Thomas Langley’s Ways and Means four-piece suite and Forever Young by fleuryfontaine

(Image credit: Zone d’Utopie Temporaire (Z.U.T) at the Koppel Project Hive)

Hand-embroidered wall-hangings

Another highlight is Julia Drieski’s series of quaint, hand-embroidered wall-hangings. Pictured: Series of 5, by Julia Drieski, 2016

(Image credit: Zone d’Utopie Temporaire (Z.U.T) at the Koppel Project Hive)

The co-working hub at The Koppel Project’s Baker Street location

The Koppel Project’s creative director Gabriella Sonabend says, ’We’ve been overwhelmed by the positive responses to both of our spaces and our cultural programme. It’s so exciting to watch the project flourish and expand.’ Pictured: the co-working hub at The Koppel Project’s Baker Street location

(Image credit: Zone d’Utopie Temporaire (Z.U.T) at the Koppel Project Hive)

INFORMATION

’Zone d’Utopie Temporaire’ is on view until 30 August. For more information, visit the Koppel Project website (opens in new tab)

Photography courtesy Zone d’Utopie Temporaire (Z.U.T) at the Koppel Project Hive

Elly Parsons is the Digital Editor of Wallpaper*, where she oversees Wallpaper.com and its social platforms. She has been with the brand since 2015 in various roles, spending time as digital writer – specialising in art, technology and contemporary culture – and as deputy digital editor. She was shortlisted for a PPA Award in 2017, has written extensively for many publications, and has contributed to three books. She is a guest lecturer in digital journalism at Goldsmiths University, London, where she also holds a masters degree in creative writing. Now, her main areas of expertise include content strategy, audience engagement, and social media.