Not in one day
The history of a house may be seen through a broad perspective beyond the tenant’s lifetime. One’s home is present throughout one’s life as it weaves a web of time and essence. All of the passions, ambitions and charged emotions a person absorbs in early life will be reflected in the house that person builds in adulthood. Behind the façades of all houses real lives are hiding, attempts to realize primal fantasies.
As an architect, I designed homes, trying to construct other people's fantasies. However, as the years passed, I realized I could not plan what would become of each house in the future. Whether I attempted to copy and replicate longed-for lifestyles or whether I wished to create a new language – the house always had its own time track and essence, even if it contrasted with the original plan.
Works by Avital Burg, Naamah Berkovitz and Eleanor Ray illuminate three points in time – three random acts – in the life of a house. Installing them together in one space creates an imagined continuum of a house in its various incarnations, from inception through construction, to the point at which it ceases to serve as a home, even though they are different buildings from different locations of different times.
The structures in the exhibition, some imaginary and others real, are shown at moments of change. Some are frozen in time, making them eternal. Others determine the fate of the house’s existence and fulfill the fantasy filling its spaces.
A walk through the exhibition is an invitation to a journey, one which suggests that viewers wonder how to realize their individual desires in their own home. What is embodied in our own house, and how will these elements impact the structure and contents of our future dwelling?
Houses, in three acts
Act I: Fantasy
Imaginary structures, from various eras in the history of art. A fantasy in which the cardboard serves as raw material. Low-cost, disposable, available material. Anti-home. Burg processes it all and creates a wide range of spaces, from a simple box to a royal palace, from a basic house to a dollhouse with no logical use. An entire process of building houses and their contents, quoting childhood memories and pre-home desires. After completing their construction she documents them in layers of paint, choosing a unique viewpoint enabling a glance inside, making her longing for a home timeless.
Act II: Construction.
Buildings in an urban space; it is unclear if they are being built or destroyed. The missing façade enables us to peer inside and imagine how they will look when completed, transforming the viewer into an alternative, changeable and dynamic living façade. At other moments it seems that the compressed air between the levels is what stabilizes the entire structure, while the function of the frame is to become only contour. Berkovitz’s buildings are built up from many layers of paint and intense movements of lines, abstractly destroying and rebuilding the buildings, enabling them to convey the sensation of the vast amount of time required for the construction process – time that will pass for future residents and re-shape their lives.
Act III: Memory.
Memories. Houses void of people. Life-recounting objects. Silent contents. The construction is over, people did their jobs and the spaces ceased to function as Ray deconstructs the urban space into simple areas of color, coming together to form a completed puzzle of a life that was and is no longer. In her small-scale paintings, Ray depicts a world frozen in time after it completed its function, as happened to Donald Judd’s house which became a museum. Memories of life that became concrete are now exhibited in Judd’s house. When asking the artist, “Where are the people?” she responds, “You are the people,” thus resuscitating the house for a moment.
Nissan (Nini) Warschawski,