Harry Sachs (
Eigenheim is German for "a home of one's own", and for all that we put into making our home into a personalized space. 19 artists have produced work that dwells specifically on the materials and construction techniques used in building homes.
Dan Attoe (USA), Carol Bove (USA), FOS (DK), Terence Gower (CDN), Ellen Harvey (GB), Elisabeth Hautmann (D), Maria Hedlund (SE), Franz Hoefner / Harry Sachs (D), Katie Holten (IRL), Sofia Hulten (SE), Rupprecht Matthies (D), Peter Piller (D), Michael Sailstorfer (D), Corinna Schnitt (D), Felix Schramm (D), Stefan Saffer (D) / Richard Woods (GB), Mungo Thomson (USA).
Curators: Laurie De Chiara and Bernd Milla
Eigenheim is German for “a home of one’s own", and for all that we put into making our home into a personalized space. The nests we make for ourselves are havens designed to address a range of very personal needs and wishes. Money, work and time are invested; worry, care and resourcefulness are spent. The need to create a secure and comfortable place to carry out our private lives may be universal, but the diversity apparent in actual dwellings suggests there may be endless possibilities.
The work of nineteen artists will inhabit the space at the Kunstverein Goettingen from April 23rd through June 6th 2006 for the exhibition “Eigenheim, everything but the kitchen sink" curated by Laurie DeChiara and Bernd Milla. The approach by which each of the artists comes to the concept of Eigenheim can be viewed as coming from one of five distinct camps and sometimes overlap.
Several artists included have produced work that dwells specifically on the materials and construction techniques used in building homes. Felix Schramm’s sculptures incorporate building materials whose raw edges suggest they might have been ripped directly from the walls of a construction site. Franz Hoefner / Harry Sachs are building a site-specific eigenheim installation inside the historic city hall which will house the exhibition, using wallpaper and recycled furniture as their primary material. Michael Sailstorfer will present a contemplative slide installation that documents the transformation of a small wooden house as it slowly burns down to the ground.
The collaborative installation of a construction site by Richard Woods and Stefan Saffer, “R.I.P" has echoes of the buried secrets in the walls, as well as a video by bSofia Hulten, which deals with the psychological obsessions and pitfalls that can develop living in our homes.
Another artistic focus is the realm of design and the use of decorative elements and functional objects in homemaking. Ellen Harvey’s painting of wallpaper, mounted on the wallpaper it represents belongs in this category. Katie Holten’s meditative drawings of vegetation on bed sheets, paper, and in an Eigenheim manual also fit in here, as do FOS’ sound coconut-hull lamps and Maria Hedlund’s photographs of chairs lined up perfectly on a wooden floor.
The works that deal with arrangements, memorabilia and collections represent a more intimate view. Carol Bove’s clusters of books on shelves bring our attention to the aspect of personality reflected in the way a resident arranges and rearranges objects in the home. Mungo Thomson’s sound installation of the artist making music on wine glasses call forth a narrative about time spent alone within one’s space. The taxidermied German Shepard dog that Elisabeth Hautmann presents splayed out on the floor of the space subverts our normal expectations for this loyal and reliable companion and guard. As a victim, he lays like a trophy before the fireplace, and simultaneously calls upon associations with antlers and fur used as decoration and with the role the German Shepard dog plays as a symbol for a proper German home life.
The final set of artworks in “Eigenheim…" represent and document the concept of a personal home by stepping a bit further away. Literally, Peter Piller’s photographs and Dan Attoe’s painting leave us at a distance; images of homes from afar call upon their fragility and insularity in the context of a larger picture. A video work by Corinna Schnitt comments on the banality of a beautiful, idyllic middle-class existence. Rupprecht Matthies’s text based works will find form for “Eigenheim" as a pin to be handed out to the public with the word “endlich" (finally). Further word-sculptures will appear in public spaces in Goettingen. Terence Gower’s photos are set within model homes of the postwar-era in California, but the images of women working in their “perfect home" still present a distanced viewpoint that calls upon the viewer to consider just what it means to settle in somewhere.
Opening: Sat. April 22nd 2006, 6 p.m.
Gotmarstrasse 1- Goettingen
Hours: Tues- Sun 11-17