Belgian architect-artist

Koen Deprez

1984

Aggressive Parks

A similar inclination towards lawlessness is noticeable in a series of eight isometries, sown within sports complexes and inhabited by animals. This theme park, the so-called 'Aggressive Park', is the antithesis of the 1960s Fun Cities – the pleasure-domes that basked in an optimistic belief that everything was going to be all right. Based on the film Westworld (1973), the attractions in Deprez's Aggressive Parks also culminate in a 'constructive disaster'. Set in the not too distant future, the film is about an amusement park for adults called 'Delos'. Here, visitors can travel through three different time zones: the middle ages, the eighteenth century and nineteenth-century America (and witness a battle between cowboys and Indians). Supposedly 'harmless' androids, almost indistinguishable from humans, populate the different epochs and provide the 'entertainment'. Yet the androids malfunction and, in a violent uprising, rebel against the visitors. During the panic that ensues, the safety-stops between the different eras fail and the operating systems shut down.

The film fascinates Deprez because, during the park's chaotic breakdown, the strategic limitations imposed upon the attraction by its owners are annihilated. In the instantaneous lapsus that ensues, the visitors are forced to live by their wits and follow their instincts as they attempt to find a secret route to the exit. Consistent with the course of events in Westworld, Deprez's Aggressive Parks also promises its visitors a 'fruitful disaster'.

Near Zvezdny Gorodok (Near Star City), mixed technique, 125 x 86 x 4 cm

Near Zvezdny Gorodok (Near Star City), mixed technique, 125 x 86 x 4 cm

Near Zvezdny Gorodok (bas-relief), mixed technique, 53 x 38 x 7 cm

Near Zvezdny Gorodok (bas-relief), mixed technique, 53 x 38 x 7 cm