The house is a shape everyone has some form of relationship with. Whether it symbolizes comfort, global financial crises in housing market, cookie cutter mediocrity or family, the house as a mundane symbol or object has been elevated to captivating experimental art and high art on several occasions. This weekend we share with you a selection of significant works that adapt houses into art objects.
Urs Fischer‘s Untitled (Bread House), constructed of bread, bread crumbs, wood, polyurethane foam, silicone, acrylic paint, screws, tape and rugs leaves every ingredient exposed. Stepping inside this large sculptural work recently at MOCA had the effect of walking inside a decaying fairytale, as the work is naturally allowed to crumble and decompose in exhibition. Stepping over piles of crusts of cinnamon raisin bread amidst dirty rugs and peering up at the bubbled polyeurythane foam that seeps between boards and rows of old bread, the viewer may feel any combination of wonder, amusement and fear- much like Grimms Brothers Fairytales.
An Te Liu‘s Title Deed evolved from the Leona Drive Project in Toronto where a number of vacant tract houses were offered to artists to be reinvented as artistic installations. As this project took place in 2009 in the height of the housing market crash, the artist observed that the simple shape of the existing house represented the 20th century iconic Monopoly board game house pieces. The simple, yet flawless execution of Title Deed situated within a functioning suburban neighborhood carries comical yet heavy implications.
The new work from Australian photographer Jana Maré in a way presents different relationships. Maré’s nude body is found throughout a deteriorating house, interacting with various rooms and structures. The physical relationship expressed in the photos at once recalls the structure’s past incarnation as a home and emphasizes its current dilapidation. At the same time, though, Maré, in using her own body and refusing to use digital manipulation seems to have a nearly uneasy relationship with the camera and viewer – her posing a kind of performance that has been frozen.
For anyone who grew up in the 80′s & 90′s, Hiroyasu Sakaguchi’s House T will look vaguely familiar, namely because House T is laid out like a level in Mario, or most other Nintendo games for that matter. All the spaces in a house that we have gotten used to as individual, semi-private rooms have been stripped of their walls and joined into one long inter-connected space. I love it because it reminds us of the tension between psychological and physical space, how we compartmentalize various aspects of our life into respective spaces. House T reminds me of Gordon Matta Clark’s work, albeit much cleaner, Japanese, and way less punk rock, but the altering of our perception of space is in them both. (via)
The work of Johan Björkegren feels like a fairy tale, with twists and turns. It’s what I pictured when I was 5 and holding the covers hearing stories. It is decrepid and pronounced, and can, at times, feel like a house that won’t stop squeaking. It feels loved and nurtured, but it doesn’t believe in purity or the idea of white.