Mirroring greenhouse as a place of residency for an artist

Gistel, 2013, competition proposal

The firmament convulses and compresses darkly, but for now raindrops are held off. In the field there's a cabin. In-between the tall grass, over the bridge and the mossy water, a shape distinguishes itself. It's a greenhouse, but then again it's not.The greenhouse is the cabin. The greenhouse imitating the house. Gestalt. From a little chimney rises white smoke, a peace offering towards the clouds. The greenhouse, or cabin, seems a drawing of white lines on the landscape. Thin aluminum profiles, typical of greenhouses, you can find them also further down the road, painted white. Light, but also present. But in-between the lines, something weird is going on; the landscape's there, but distorted. Crooked and incomplete. The glass panels are mirroring. The landscape that's been cut away by the silhouette of the greenhouse is being reconstructed, but all wrong and wry. Like that the greenhouse seems like the vision of a drunk or a mirage. She's not transparent and therefore not absent, by the way total transparency seems physical unattainable, but she is distorted present in the landscape. She dresses herself with the landscape and cuts out pieces. A broken kaleidoscope.

Over the bridge, paths marked but clean cut grass, now at the edge of the room. The greenhouse rests on a green undercarriage. Lifting hooks are welded on, four of them, visible in the tall grass. Caterpillar tracks can still be a bit read on ground. On one side of the greenhouse: a sliding door. Through the door. A boarded floor stretches out and again the white profiles. Again the white lines and the landscape. The landscape is everywhere. This time through the glass panels, which are transparent from the inside. The meadow, the plain, the creek, the path and above, the dark clouds and the shy white plume. In a corner there's a bed. For one person. Or two, if emotions can make it from the clumsy. In front of it, right next to the door, a wood stove. Next to the stove cleaved wood is stacked. There's also a little worktable, near the bed. All around: paintings, pedestals with sculptures, paint- and varnish splatters on the wood. The paintings are suspended on the designated rails, in the same formal language as the greenhouse, they are after all also standard greenhouse-elements; they can be simply placed at any desired location. The glass behind some of the paintings has been plastered. With a crude brush, the strokes are clearly visible, the landscape glimmers through. A temporary filter, washes off just like that. In the roof some of the panels can be opened to prevent the accumulation of heat. But not now. Now it's raining. The weeping drops, an extra deforming layer on the image of the surrounding landscape. There's also a canvas, when unfolded it shields the room from bright sunlight. But not now. Now it's raining.

Just like the room has a double, ambiguous relationship with the landscape; in the same way she's not neutral in relation to the art she carrying. She's not exposing the art neutral, like a white museum wall. The exposition garden around her isn't doing so either by the way. Even the white of the plastered glass has a minimum of texture, of life. She is ever a bit there, even when you're looking through or against her. She's the public cabin for displaying, but als the private cabin for living. People gather in her to look to the art -but also the landscape- and when they go away again, the artist retreats in her -with his art- and when he's contemplatively smoking a cigarette through the open door or reads a book on side of the bed, near the stove, it rains. And always there is the white and always there is the landscape.

Standard greenhouse-system; aluminum profiles, white; single glass, sided reflective on the outside
Reclaimed wooden floor
Green undercarriage with four lifting hooks


blending in with the landscape  

inside view  

inside view