Impossible Cities



Impossible Cities moves from the universal to the personal while examining man's quest for Utopia through the experiences and histories of the individual people that created - or attempted to create - an earthly paradise and perfect society. These individuals, whether religious visionaries, self-proclaimed prophets (such as Jemima Wilkinson and Joseph Smith of the mid-19th century), or rational architects of society (such as Pullman, the Transcendentalists, or the new-agers and self-help gurus of today's communes), each claim their attempts constitute a universal discovery. The Utopia Project displays the rhetoric and showmanship behind these attempts, encouraging audiences to think critically about the nature of vision, leadership, and the imposition of a single will on a larger group. The movement from universal to personal mirrors the notion of discovering the very specific biography behind a general movement, the individual stories behind history, and the specific personalities that shape religions, philosophies, and major movements in American society. The yearning for a Utopia is treated with utmost respect, even as its manifestations or attempts prove almost universally fleeting. The production is surrounded by a gallery exhibition of visual artists exploring the same theme.

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