Proposition d’habitation is a contribution installation as part of the project The Exhibition Tower, made and curated by Brenda Tempelaar. It is an installation of two videos screened simultaneously; one, a performance by Absalon (Meir Eshel) in his living unit in a gallery space, and the other one, compilation of footage of gallery visitors seeing the living units made by him all collected in one exhibition space, after his death.
The two videos reflect on the intertwinement of artistic production practices, spaces of exposition of artistic products, and the reproductive/domestic activities of the artist. The maquette made by Brenda Tempelaar serves as stand for the beamers projecting these two videos, is a gesture to criticise the roles that the ones in position of power (institutions, architects, commissioners, etc) play in this context.
“…Two videos […], [are] screened simultaneously. The first is Proposition d’habitation (1992), a performance by Absalon (Meir Eshel) in his living unit in a gallery space. The space is reduced to the most essential functions of a house and brings the artist to isolation and introspection. The video depicts a table and chair, a cupboard that is also a bed and a tub and day-to-day activities performed by the artist. All the architectural elements are based on a geometrical shape such as a cylinder or a square. The space dictates his actions and restricts the movements of his body. The domesticity proposed by Absalon is not sedentary but alternative and mobile. The second video is a compilation of footage that features gallery visitors looking at a collection of Absalon’s living units, exhibited after his death. The Exhibition Tower serves as a stand for the beamers projecting the two videos. The installation reflects on the entanglement of artistic production, exhibition spaces and the domestic activities of the artist.”
The exhibition took place at Jan van Eyck Academie, 2015–2016.
Exhibition Catalogue published in 2018.
“The Exhibition Tower is a publication that features a series of four exhibitions staged inside a scale model of a tower designed by OMA for Lafayette Anticipations in Paris. The exhibition catalogue focuses on the concept of an 18-metre-high void and architectural/curatorial flexibility. The central question throughout the publication is what OMA’s design offers its prospective exhibitioners. Is it just mobile, or does it actually mobilise something? The editorial essay Animating the Ghost Sonata draws a parallel between the tower’s design and a 1907 screenplay by August Strindberg that is about expectations, dreams and house rules. All exhibitions took place behind the closed door of a studio at the Van Eyck academy in Maastricht. The catalogue therefore is not a keepsake but the only form in which the work ever existed.
With works and texts by: Stéphanie Lagarde, Graham Kelly, GVN908 and Golnar Abbasi. Essay: Animating The Ghost Sonata, Brenda Tempelaar. Preface: Lex ter Braak. Graphic design: Christophe Clarijs. Photography: Romy Finke. Copy editing: Daniel Vorthuys, Vincent van Velsen. Printer: Cassochrome Pages: 120g Lessebo – paperback, 88p, 22 x 28 cm – otabind. Language: English. ISBN: 978-90-828111-0-0. Price: € 22,50 incl. 6% BTW”