My House is a Le Corbusier
Padiglione Esprit Nouveau, Bologna
Courtesy Xing, Bologna
Photo by Luca Ghedini
Studio Apartment, Paris
Courtesy Ex Elettrofonica, Roma
With My OUSE is a Le Corbusier, Cristian Chironi starts from a true story: in the second half of the Sixties, the Sardinian artist Costantino Nivola, linked by a deep friendship and collaboration with the architect Le Corbusier, passed by Orani (his country of origin and Chironi’s as well) and gave to the family of his brother “Chischeddu” a project designed by the great architect, with the hope that he and his sons, masons, who were in the process of building a new home, would have followed carefully the building instructions in the project.
The importance of Corbusier’s legacy, however, was not understood by the family. After a while Costantino, returned from Long Island, noted that the house built in no way corresponded to the characteristics of the project, which, according to all the family ‘had neither doors nor windows, and looked more like a shack than a house.’ Costantino Nivola reacted taking back that project, of which today the fate is no longer known. The house, which is still in Orani, built preferring popular functionality to the ideas of the modernist master, shows, perhaps, only the “mood” of that ignored originality.
The Translator, 2015
House in Gaylani, 2014
Courtesy The Third Line, Dubai
In the series Let the Guest Be the Master (2013) and Floor Plans (2014) Kahraman paints and draws floor plans that were researched and amassed by the artist in Iraq with the help of different architects. One can see the floor plans of traditional Baghdad houses with their vast courtyards outlined on and shaping the canvas. In the corridors, rooms and interstices of the buildings, Kahraman paints ghostly figures of women that seem to be both floating freely in the spaces and be imprisoned by them. The artist has said that these series were instigated by her family’s decision to sell their long abandoned house in Baghdad. The works are a subversive play on gender power relations, where the architecture of those houses structurally informs the gender roles: the women watch the semi-public space of the courtyard from the upper floors, and the men internalise this surveillance by performing for the women. Yet these paintings could also be seen as a conjuring of an ancestral feminine knowledge that is woven into the architecture of the city, hidden and lurking as a form of pasty resilience.
The Grand Domestic Revolution Handbook develops from the Grand Domestic Revolution (GDR) project at Casco — Office for Art, Design and Theory in Utrecht, the Netherlands, which still evolves in various forms, including tours and offshoots under the moniker GDR GOES ON.
In the interest of (in)forming society from the very inner but common sphere of the domestic realm, GDR brings together relations and tools forged between the private and public spheres, and across multiple fields. The handbook is presented as an essential companion for this movement. Whether you are a flexible worker, domestic worker, house husband, elderly caregiver, mother, activist, or student intern, we encourage you to take this book as an evocative and useful resource for an artistic, political, social, or personal “revolution” from the very place where you live and work!
Does the contemporary domestic sphere need change? If so, what forms can the “grand domestic revolution” of our time take? What kind of emancipatory forms of dwelling and social relations can we imagine in and against today’s society of control? Since October 2009, Casco has embarked on its first ever long-term collective research project, exploring the contemporary condition of the private home and different ways in which “living together” can be practiced in and around it.
Informed by the late nineteenth-century material feminist views on domestic labor and their practices and proposals for spatial, architectural, and urban design that “socialized” an invisible layer of domestic activities, GDR re-valorizes the reproductive sphere of our activities and investigates existing domestic regimes.
Supersurface: An Alternative Model for Life on Earth, 1972