Arguably, the most meaningful aspects of our lives are the relationships and exchanges that come from them. In casa para 2, Berlin-based artist Jean-Pascal Flavien has created an architectural space to induce an experimental dialogue between two people, Person A and Person B. As a means of distinguishing separation, each person participating is designated a color, either red or blue. The interlocking cube structure of the house is reiterated in the interior where various sizes of red and blue cubes exist as potential furniture, props or game pieces to facilitate discourse and play. The cubes can act as architectural elements, to be removed, rearranged, or repurposed from the literal structure. The recently constructed house in the São Paulo neighborhood of Lapa is able to support a co-habitation of two people for several weeks, where the dynamics of a relationship will fold and unfold, intertwine and scatter.
The formal house may be tightly conceived, with each element representing a precise function for the artist, but the beauty of the structure is the uncontrolled and unpredictable dialogue that will take place within it. As with Flavien’s other projects, where a structure is spatially organized with sensory conditions that generate emotive responses, interactions, or experimentations, the methodology and outcome of how one participates with the work is open. The construction is a frame to contain unpredictable forces. Here, an interesting tension becomes evident between the rigidity of the architectural plane and the encouragement of the unknown, between the formal qualities of the physical house and the playfulness of life as art.
Within the structure itself we see an uncertainty of it’s physicality. Casa para 2 will eventually undergo maintenance, a recurring necessity for any house, and these modifications echo the continual adjustment, adaptation, and revision that occurs within a dialogue. A previous project of Flavien’s, Viewer, built just 3 years ago in Maricá, Brazil is rapidly becoming reincorporated into the tropical environment with the aid of termites. The duration of these artworks increasingly reveals fluctuations in the instability of time and perpetual transmutation. What occurs here, within these walls, is time and space to explore the possibilities of communication, to coax invention, connection, and even folly. The house becomes more than itself as the experimenters and the reverberations of their dialogue are disseminated into the world.
Flavien produces drawings, models, publications, installations and films that support and diverge from his human-scale houses. His architectural works include Cabin in Chicago, built in 1994 to house other artistic works, Viewer, 2007, constructed in Maricá (near Rio de Janeiro), as a means to consider the experience of viewing and an alternative context of time, and No Drama House built in 2009 in Berlin as an experiment in habitation where the participants encounter functional problems for which they must invent solutions.