23.03.2014 / 15-18h / Kunst im Taut Haus / Berlin (DE)
At this meeting we’ve been discovering Antoanetta Marinov’s visual art works which she presented as part of the co-exhibition Ein schwebender Begriff (a pending notion) at the projectspace Kunst im Taut Haus combined with an explorative walk around the modern residential housing project “Hufeisensiedlung” (horseshoe settlement) which Antoanetta suggested.
The Kunst im Taut Haus is a modern family house designed in the early 20th century by Bruno Taut, which is a hidden project space, hard to find unless one knows where to look about it. By passing through an idyllic garden, we approached the house. While unlocking the door, Antoanetta mentioned that we shall explore the exhibition and house by ourselves before talking about it. Her contextual works among which to find diverse found and built objects, installations, video works and drawings and an archive of objects that were displayed in various spaces of the 3 story house. Literally speaking, Antoanetta worked herself upwards – from basement to the attic on the 3rd floor, attempting to establish a close relation between her work and the building’s architectural space, especially the remnants from former users and the colours. She collected many locally found materials and wove them into her pieces.
When talking with Antoanetta about her exhibition, one participant draws an interesting analogy between her working process and the publication by Gaston Bachelard entitled “The Poetics of Space” pointing out that there’s also a connection between the cellar and the attic. For Bachelard the ‘house’, the space between the rationality of the attic and the irrationality of the cellar, is the synthesis between the rationality and irrationality of man.”1 Whereas Antoanetta establishes an embodied connection between the human body from feet till head and the different floors of the house, by carrying pieces of wood from the cellar to the first floor. This connection is being re-enacted on the ground floor through a sound installation of this very action as well as a sculpture in the attic representing her carrying a large object.
1 Steven Michael DeBurger, Within the city dwelling, there is no room for daydreams: Bachelard’s phenomenology of imagination and the poetics of space, http://www2.hawaii.edu/~pesaconf/zpdfs/60deburger.pdf
One of my first visual encounters when arriving at subway station “Parchimer Allee” was a huge billboard by “Deutsche Wohnen” advertising the sale of “Hufeisensiedlung” (horseshoe settlement) apartments. As a small group we headed towards “Hufeisensiedlung” walking north on Fritz-Reuter-Allee on this grey, windy and drizzly day. We passed plenty of large scale and very similar looking 3 to 4 story residential blocks, which were mostly white coloured on one side of the street and dark on the other. Arriving at “Hufeisensiedlung” it became very quiet and no one besides 2 boys fighting with plastic toys in the garden areas. On one edge of the “horseshoe settlement” there’s an open restaurant which released a particular scent – a mix of fried foods, upholstered furniture and cigarettes. We walked around the whole inner court yard and noticed that the settlement is divided in several inter connected housing units with slightly different heights – increasing from both ends towards the center of the horseshoe. We were really impressed by the colours of the balcony units which were all painted in a different blue, which was a distinctive part of Bruno Taut’s architectural concept. The upper floor was covered with a row of minuscule windows. What could the use of this floor be? Does it act as an attic, or housing for cleaning staff, how it was typically the case in Haussmann Style houses?