TALK Friday 23 of october from 18h to 19h at IED
“DELIRIOUS ME”, Curated by Sofia Lemos
Somewhere in between overtly sensorial pleasure and uneasiness, dismal and depression, our engagement with architecture is evermore conditioned by the images it circulates: on the one hand, glossy magazine spreads, and, on the other hand, crisis and vacancy. While this dialectic has been a prevailing one in the ways architects relate to their practice, a radical transformation in their subjective frame is camouflaged by contemporary mainstream architectural discourse where the barriers separating architecture from the self have been warded off.
Delirious Me offers a response to eme3’s call “Is Architecture Working for You?” that departs from the shared viewing of Elizabeth Price’s At the House of Mr. X (2007) and bolsters a collective discussion about the affective conditions that underlie the circulation of architectural practice. The house of Mr. X, built in the late 1960s, opens a navigational space wherein current questions of subjectivity and sociability in architectural practice can arise. Wondering about the house of Mr. X one confronts formations of an appreciable life, a propensity to appeal to the care for oneself. This ever-growing condition is, as the French Philosopher Michel Feher has noted, “not so much to profit from our accumulated potential as to constantly value or appreciate ourselves — or at least prevent our own depreciation.”
Insofar as Mr. X’s abode might have been a pioneering nerve center for the self, Delirious Me focuses on Architecture’s divisive visual culture and in the circulatory value of its affections to investigate its psychic and somatic consequences.
At the House of Mr X
20 minutes, Colour, Sound, UK, 2007
At the House of Mr X by Elizabeth Price takes as its subject the home of an anonymous art collector, designed and built in the late 1960s. Only briefly inhabited, the House and its contents remain immaculately preserved.
The film opens as a visit to the house. A slow, visual tour begins, proceeding from the entrance through open-plan areas, into every room. The elegant geometry of the spaces, the varied materials of the architecture, and the luxurious modernist furnishings are attentively documented. In particular, the camera dwells upon gleaming, reflective surfaces: the lustre of coloured glass; bright plastics and the liquid-shine of chrome.
The tour is directed by a silent narrator, present as an on-screen script, punctuated with percussion and close-harmony vocal arrangements. This narrator is the Guide for the tour, and the only protagonist in the film. Its script is collaged from documents relating to the House, art collection, and business ventures of the former resident. The resulting combination of administrative, curatorial and commercial languages, produces an equivocal identity: as you move through the pristine interiors the tone shifts from deadpan taxonomical description to the solicitation and innuendo of advertising copy.
About the Artist
Elizabeth Price (born 1966) is a British artist who won the Turner Prize in 2012. Her works generate and adapt historical collections and archives. This includes the production of new bodies of material, developed by Price over many years, as well as the detournement of existing ones. In a recent series of projects Price has been working with publicly inaccessible or mothballed art collections, bringing them to half-light, in reconfigured shape, through video.
About the Curator
Sofia Lemos is a Berlin-based researcher and public programmer. Lemos has been involved in the organisation of exhibitions in various institutions including PRAXES (Berlin), and DRAF (London). Previously, she worked as a researcher at MACBA, Barcelona. Her professional focuses lie on contemporary art, architecture, and the history of science. She is assistant editor at the art publication Drawing Room Confessions, and a recent graduate from the Independent Studies Program (PEI, MACBA) where she studied under the tutelage of Paul B. Preciado. Lemos has contributed to several publications and journals including …ment, The Funambulist, Thresholds, and PLAT, and is current Editor at the studio of the international artist and architect Tomás Saraceno.