As announced in yesterday's post, let's look today at a project inspired by the “Post – City” theme. A shop inside the Luxembourg Pavilion in Venice sold leftover plaster casts produced at Werkplaats Vincent de Rijk, Rotterdam, of the row houses from the Ingeldorf-Nordstad project at 1 Euro each.
Though at the beginning I thought about getting them as a joke to later on boast with my friends about buying not one but two houses in Venice, in the end I decided to buy the models and incorporate them in one of my accessories.
I spent quite a long time trying to find a way to make the houses more symbolical, as I wanted to occupy, appropriate and adapt them to my needs reproducing the process of a human being stepping into a real house and turning it into their own space.
But let's look first at the materials I used to prove that you don't need to spend a lot of money to have something really special: two plaster cast houses; a triangular shaped piece of wood found on the beach during a nice and relaxing Sunday walk (though I cleaned it and sanded it a bit, the shape is the original one sculpted by the sea and it goes pretty well with the symbolic triangle in the Luxembourg Project); two tiny figurines, one representing a man with a sandwich board on which there's written “Equal Rights for ALL”, the other representing a young girl; green sponges and assorted leather/felt leftovers.
The main inspiration was Italo Calvino's Invisible Cities, but there are a lot of other ideas included and incorporated in the necklace, first of all the theme of equal rights for everybody, but also themes related to the housing issue - from being homeless to having a house and being afraid of losing it (think about the anxiety in Thomas Doyle's dioramas with the houses precariously perched on a cliff). The man walking across the landscape is giving a message, but he's alone, and his message about equal rights may get lost. Yet there is a young girl spying upon him and she represents the hope and the future as she may learn from that message and eventually fight for it when she grows up.
The piece is a social commentary: this necklace could hint at our society, at a dystopian futuristic society or at a post-apocalyptic and disturbing world (after all there is nobody around apart from the two figures). Yet in the peacefully terrifying and bare landscape, in this sort of island or strip of a dissolved longitudinal city string, there is still hope represented by a young girl.
I consider this piece a transdisciplinary necklace, since it's not art, it's not sculpture, it's not fashion or architecture, but it is at the same time all these things together. In a way, while hinting at the theme of fashion as performance, this piece represents a microcosm, a sort of miniature world and carrying it around has two meanings: the wearer may be God looking at his creatures from a distance or may be just an ordinary human being who is trying to tackle everyday problems – lack of housing, fear of losing your house, anxiety, loneliness and so on – by zooming out and re-scaling them (the starting principle behind the project at the Luxembourg Pavilion) to analyse them and finally find a solution.
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