description of a struggle


Sprengel Museum Hannover

how to survive
Kunst als Überlebensstrategie

Description of a Struggle is the title of a short story by Franz Kafka. I wanted to redo this description in another form. Let the house become a description. A habitable object that wants to be a text. Is it a dream? The description would assemble the elements of a conjecture—walls, passages, rooms—and would define the contours. To describe would be to produce a situation by giving it terms. Describe a life by giving it a daily outline.
            The exterior walls encloses seven spaces divided by roughly finished plaster partitions. Beyond the white wall preventing entry, the seven rooms are doorless and do not communicate. The house is in a state of sleep, waiting for its inhabitant. The resident will have to make an effort to inhabit this place: going through the walls, perforating surfaces, making one's way. They may settle in the first room while leaving the other walls untouched, nestle, lie down, give up, or dig further into the house, to the right or the left, continue, decide on another action. The choices that arise are made of stops, bifurcations, and destruction. A struggle! I imagine something animal-like and feral in this everyday. Living is drawing a line through the spaces, like tracing a tunnel in a mine.
            Usually architecture decides on a course of action, on what it separates, what it brings together, even in the intimacy that it sometimes invents and fosters. To live in it, by dint of repetitions, of adjustments, forces one to shape one's life to the form of this space, inducing similar convergences in your habits, assimilating comparable distancings in once’s thoughts. There seems to be a contradiction in this house which is in appearance more constraining, but by not deciding the openings, and the layout of the flows, it leaves the inhabitant the choice of  making a route, even if with a destructive gesture. I would like the house to withdraw from determination, to impose almost nothing, that life is not written there.
           The house is built in the context of the exhibition how to survive ︎︎︎ at the Sprengel Museum in Hannover.