Behind the phrase that lends this exhibition its title, there are two thinkers: Jean Baudrillard and Andreas Huyssen. The former defined simulation as the creation of something that “has no relationship to any reality whatsoever,” and therefore predicted the replacement of “the real” by “the virtual.” Huyssen picks up where Baudrillard left off, positing that, since reality has been lost and replaced by its simulacrum, utopia cannot exist. Hence the title, if there is no reality, there can be no utopia. In other words, in the age of simulacra and virtual reality, the disappearance of the real also entails the end of the utopian.
The exhibition consists of two asymmetrical sections. The first is “The Description of the Lie,” a skeptical introduction to the systems which fabricate the simulacra of the real. The second bears the title “Collapses” and is divided into four sub-sections: communism, capitalism, democracy, and geopolitics. As Huyssen aptly put it, “Utopia never dies alone. It takes its counter-utopia down with it.” Therefore, when communism falls it takes capitalism down, and as capitalism collapses it drags democracy along with it, since the latter decided to cast its lot in with the former. At the same time, the expansive system that characterizes capitalism (colonialism) also implies its geopolitical implosion. It therefore seems that we should seriously consider the demise of utopia as the great problem of our time.