Our mistakes are perfect, too / Gone to Croatan ongoing

Curators: Daniel Muzyczuk, Robert Rumas


American sociologist Nathan K. Mendelssohn had a dream. In 1958 he purchased 320 sq km in the Mojave Desert. With the help of planners he created a model city. It was situated around a park with the surface of 32 hectares and an artificial lake (8 hectares). Although most of building plots were sold instantly (they had bargain prices), what remains of the city today is a vast network of named, disintegrating streets. There are no houses along them, no high-voltage lines. Nowadays, the period of the location of the city is remembered as a time of purchase histery. Mendelssohn, who came to live in the United States after the Second World War and formulated theories of social development there, proposed a new beginning to Californians by building a city for them, thus reviving the myth of the first settlers. He withdrew in 1969; he sold his firm to a Denver-based corporation and disappeared. Some of the owners of the land were disappointed and stopped paying taxes, consequently, their plots became property of the state. But the city is not totally “dead”. The city as such is mostly an imaginary phenomenon but new generations of the citizens of the city that has no buildings wish to fulfill Mendelssohn’s dream.