Constant’s New Babylon

Constant (1920–2005), Cover to New Babylon, 1963. Lithographs, 400 × 380 mm. DMC 1472.

Books full of words, oral, printed traditions fixed the cities as a law of life for generations – conquered and vanquished before and re-erected. Buried under a hollowed time, or still an endless and compelling space, from Angkor, Tughlakabad and Cuzco whispers even further the power of the Incas. Crocodiles crawling through the temple of Thebes; mushrooms raining down on Hiroshima; trumpets sounding in Jericho; the Trojan war will take place again. Zion calls for work and prayer and Babylon will still be presented as a forbidden fruit. Names stay alive, through them we are given memory and knowledge.

– Constant

Constant (1920–2005), Colophon to New Babylon, 1963. DMC 1472.f.

We heard the presence of Chandigarh and Brasilia, words reflected in glass and concrete. But we are witnesses of another building. Constant is building a new world, and we are now witnesses to the making of his city-society, and he makes this, with both hands, with mind and heart, with the senses and the imagination of someone possessed. He remodels a whole world, striving for a wished-for ‘New Babylon’, a creation of words, models, photographs, drawings, plays and theories.

– Constant

Translated from the German by Kenny Stevens.

Constant (1920–2005), New Babylon, 1963. Lithograph, 400 × 760 mm. Estate of the artist. DMC 1472.1.
Constant (1920–2005), New Babylon, 1963. Lithograph, 400 × 760 mm. Estate of the artist. DMC 1472.2.
Constant (1920–2005), New Babylon, 1963. Lithograph, 400 × 380 mm. Estate of the artist. DMC 1472.1.
Constant (1920–2005), New Babylon, 1963. Lithograph, 400 × 380 mm. Estate of the artist. DMC 1472.3.
Constant (1920–2005), New Babylon, 1963. Lithograph, 400 × 760 mm. Estate of the artist. DMC 1472.3.
Constant (1920–2005), New Babylon, 1963. Lithograph, 400 × 380 mm. Estate of the artist. DMC 1472.5.
Constant (1920–2005), New Babylon, 1963. Lithograph, 400 × 380 mm. Estate of the artist. DMC 1472.5.
Constant (Constant Anton Nieuwenhuys), New Babylon, no.6, 1963. Lithographs, 400 × 380 mm. DMC 1472.6.
Constant (1920–2005), New Babylon, 1963. Lithograph, 400 × 760 mm. Estate of the artist. DMC 1472.7.
Constant (1920–2005), New Babylon, 1963. Lithograph, 400 × 760 mm. Estate of the artist. DMC 1472.8.
Constant (1920–2005), New Babylon, 1963. Lithograph, 400 × 760 mm. Estate of the artist. DMC 1472.9.
Constant (1920–2005), New Babylon, 1963. Lithograph, 400 × 760 mm. Estate of the artist. DMC 1472.1.