Home, Tough Home...When an Artist Sets Out to Change the Meaning of Home

I love to read obituaries as, I am sure, many fiction writers do, and I'm particularly fond of the New York Times' obituaries that are often remarkable snapshots of a person's achievements in life. Recently I came across one of an artist I remember meeting when we were both starry-eyed college kids (see NYT article below). I was moved to write a non-fiction piece that cannot be considered (I think) an obituary - it is something else...I'm not sure what, you be the judge! 

It's very short, a two minute read, published on ReadWave: click here to read.

Published on ReadWave, click here to read

...I hope you enjoy it, and please remember to click that "heart" button if you "liked" it (that's the way "likes" are done on ReadWave - incidentally an excellent site that links writers and readers, lots of good stuff there!) When you come back, I'll tell you more about Madeline.

To start with, let me show you a good picture of the "Bioscleave House" on Long Island, NY (this is the one published in the NYT) and not the "artistic" rendering that I used on ReadWave to illustrate my piece. This, the first building of its kind in the US, is also known as the "life expanding villa". Note the bold, contrasting colors...

And here is the way the inside was conceived, no floor is flat:

For more about the radical views on architecture held by Madeline Gins and her husband Arakawa, click here, you'll get a glimpse at the archives of the Reversible Destiny Foundation, founded in 1987 by Madeline and her husband as a means to finance their vision...Please appreciate the complexity!

I don't know about you, but all this got me thinking about life and art. Madeline and her husband, in their own peculiar way, were a formidable success putting together the basic tenets of Conceptual Art and Architecture, ending up with a radicalized view on architecture. Their views were expounded in an exhibition at the Guggenheim Museum SoHo in 1997 in New York and they managed to get several projects off the ground, including what is probably the best known one, the "reverible destiny lofts" in Mitaka, Japan. Based on a concept where there are no doors to delimitate rooms, space is defined through abutment and angles:

You may not like this, but it is certainly ground-breaking...

A pity the "reversible destiny" designs are not life-lengthening as promised: her husband died before she did and at practically the same age, he was just 73 years-old.

That seems to be often the case with Conceptual Art: promises are not held, and that, I suppose, is yet another conceptual artist's comment on the human condition...
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