ballardian house


Galerie Esther Schipper, Berlin

[photo] andrea rossetti
[plans] moritz ganssauge

What is a type of architecture that would belong to a fictional literary œuvre while it is not described within it. It would expand the territory of this fictional narrative by diagrammatically absorbing some of it structural features.
        A Ballardian is such an invention. It is a type of house that cannot to be found in J. G. Ballard’s work while operating similarly to some of its characteristics. In Ballard, the world appears as an extention of the emotions of the protagonist, a state of mind made landscape. I suggest a house that stands halfway between this mind and the projected world. In this cosmic scheme, the house is both the continuation of the mind operating similarly and the element that, beyond itself organizes or forces the world — an intermediary screen acting as an agent.
        Set in the midst of a sandy ground with a number of rocks, the environment evokes a desert. Made of two near identical structures, posed at an angle and apparently held by a central hinge, the house, entitled ballardian four is splitting and folding the horizon arrowed by two lines of rocks. The world out there is made by the house. The two parts of the construction constitute separate but connected elements: while one section of the house is accessible and may accommodate a living inhabitant, its double is inhabited only by a stone. The landscape thus enters the building and becomes trapped in this museum-like space: like a vitrine, the closed-off structure holds its contents in a state of being looked at. Building and landscape are contingent, organizing one another in a reciprocal exchange of qualities. It articulates a notion of doubling, coupling, and splitting — processes that continue throughout the exhibition.
       Ballardian House creates a concrete setting, while evoking an entire fictional universe. Dissolving demarcation between mental space, built structure and surrounding landscape, the house draws on the writings of J.G. Ballard whose highly charged dystopian scenarios often displace psychological and existential conditions onto buildings and landscapes. Sculptural works inside the building will also draw on texts: represented by conglomerates of citations from Ballard's writing, these works are neither real nor abstract but exist at once in multiple fictional locations and realities — as if the words were bringing to completion what is not physically present. 
        The house includes custom-made furnishings, specific to its premise. The culd-de-sac lamp was laying on the floor inside. In addition, the landscape outside the house includes a pair of entangled chairs that echo the house's act of doubling yet also invoke the presence of inhabitants, just as doubling rows of small boulders recall an archaic meeting place but also incorporates an instance of mirroring. The sculptures can appear to shift between states: at times present as discrete objects, at others fusing more resolutely chameleon-like into the fantastic landscape Ballardian House conjures up.