PHYLLIS ODESSEY

Ruminations on the meaning of HOME

LIVING
Louisiana Museum
 of Modern Art
Denmark
“In other words creating a home is not just about a physical setting but about the customs we associate with “being at home”.  Where and how are we at home?  How does home reflect our identity?  How do we create the feeling of home through cultural rituals, traditions or special kinds of architecture?  How do you take your homeland with you when you move away or emigrate?”

These are some of the pieces that moved me:

Bottari Truck – Migrateurs
(video of performance art)
2007
Kimsooja

“Bottari Truck – Migrateurs is a performance where the Korean artist Kimsooja travels through Paris for ten days seated on top of a mountain of bottaris.  Bottari is the name the Koreans give to the coloured cloth bundles used to transport both Korean traders’ goods and migrants property.  Korean women themselves sew these wrappings and bed linen from left-over cloth, and for Kimsooja this practice signifies a kind of absorption in and encapsulation of personal memories as well as family history.

Kimsooja’s performance results in an account of the traveller and the way in which the Korean woman takes with her not only her home, but her whole identity, the memory of her origin and the history of her people, as something constantly on the move in the fluid, almost endless space of Korea”.

In the video of this piece, the woman moves in slow motion through the streets of Paris.  One sees the onlookers, who are not shocked, maybe slightly confused.  They seem to accept this woman riding  down the rue.  For me, the description of this piece has more meaning, then the piece itself.  As in a lot of performance art, the artist gains meaning and experience and the audience are simply onlookers.

The Tub
2010
video

Katja Bjorn

“The work is about yourself, Katja Bjorn and about all of us, about being human and feeling that being human involves something as simple as taking a bath.”
Yes, we have all washed our hair and most of us have never seen this perspective of that act. 

Koolhaas HouseLife
Video 2008
Ila Beka & Louise Lemoine

Unlike the other two videos, the Koolhaas video has a soundtrack.  The cleaning lady, Guadelupe Acedo comments on the house designed by Rem Koolhaas/OMA ub 1998.  From her perspective the house definitely is form over function.  We laugh as she makes her way through the house, siting one problem after another.

Although each of three videos has very different subject matter, they are centered in one way or another around the idea of home and everyday rituals. 

Here is the “egg house” on Langeland in Denmark.  I love the simplicity.  This is a case where form does follow function. 

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