THE IDEAL HOUSE PROJECT (2012)
ABITATION 1608 (2008)
Design at Riverside, Cambridge Galleries, 2012
WA Architecture (Jillian Ross: assistance for virtual animation)
Like many artists, I have spent a lifetime renovating working spaces – mostly industrial warehouses, but also attached to traditional homes. I have always wanted to design and build my own place, my own house. What does that mean? A design is a projection of what we anticipate will construct the ideal framework within which one’s apprehension of possibilities can function.
A framework is in fact the means by which to frame work. To frame the possibility of an ideal place is to build a place to work.
I have come to believe that making, whether artworks or houses, has less to do with materiality, the materials of making, but rather with a set of beliefs that act to define a space that becomes an opening for possibilities. It is that opening that directs our attention towards the elusive potential of the Ideal.
In the case of this project, the concept of an ideal house surprisingly came to rest on a small nineteenth century barn, a working space. The original barn was conceived for the purposes of production and was proportionate with the scale and need of livestock and the necessities of farm maintenance – 36’wide x 24’ deep by 12’ in height to the roof-line: multiples of six. It was a space for making. It was not bigger than it had to be. It was what it had to be, and in that it was the embodiment of an Ideal. Like the trees and the surrounding land it simply was: the Ideal was simply real.
What would I mean by real?
The original barn, like so many, was clad in corrugated metal. For The Ideal House Project, the use of a corrugated metal skin creates an ambiguity between the practicality of the past and a contemporary existential condition, the clean logic of the digital aesthetic. The practical real of the original skin, appropriate to the productivity of the land, is shifted to serve another real, the arena of art production. The ideal that served to represent the farm becomes the ideal that serves representation itself. The Ideal House Project is, for me, the reality of art, it’s suspension of definition.
Yvonne Lammerich 2012
Yvonne Lammerich has shown nationally and internationally since 1973. Her work is included in museums as well as corporate and private collections.