My house is a Le Corbusier (Esprit Nouveau Pavilion), Cristian Chironi, 2015
My house is a Le Corbusier, is a project by Cristian Chironi featuring the numerous domestic structures around the world designed by the famous architect, in which the artist will reside for a period.
Both a work in progress and a crucible of ideas, research and exhibition – not to mention a living experience – My house is a Le Corbusier is intended to evolve over the long term and culminate in the totality of all the experiences that Chironi will undergo while actually living for variable periods of time in the many homes designed by Le Corbusier around the world.
The long-term project (which will unfold over the potential arc of 30 habitable homes by Corbusier in 12 countries) is a performance, stretched out over time, house after house. “Pilgrim houses”, inextricably tied to the movement and the intersection of diverse geographies and cultures.
Chironi’s point of departure is a real historical episode: in the late 1960s, the Sardinian artist Costantino Nivola, who enjoyed a great friendship and collaboration with Le Corbusier, stopping by his hometown of Orani (also Chironi’s birthplace), entrusted his brother’s family with the construction of “Chischeddu” on a design by the great architect, with the hope that he and his sons, masons all of them, would scrupulously follow the plans. But they failed to understand the importance of this. Some time later, returning from Long Island, Costantino discovered that the house they had built did not correspond at all to the specifications which, as the entire family protested, “had neither doors nor windows and looked more like a shack than a house”. Costantino Nivola reacted by seizing the plans, which have since been lost. The house, which still stands today in Orani, built with a preference for low-brow functionality over the modernist vision of the architect, reflects only the ‘mood’, if that, of the original concept.
Taking inspiration from this real episode, Cristian Chironi identifies the narrative potential for an analysis of a series of relationships in the contemporary, tied to the concepts of communication, reading and interpretation, with the consequent linguistic and socio-political implications. Falling, in this historical period of precarious economic stability, in the impossibility of owning one’s own home, bartering the freedom to live in the houses designed by Le Corbusier around the world.
Chironi turns these houses into “privileged vantage points” to better understand how the legacy of Le Corbusier is perceived today, and in what condition the “home of man” currently finds itself. A reading of architecture through storytelling and the direct experience of its spatio-temporal dimension, where one can discuss and see the artist at work, partake in events, consult the assembled material or simply drink a coffee.
The first stop in this geography of habitation is the Esprit Nouveau Pavilion in Bologna, after which he will move in April 2015 to the studio-apartment in Rue Nungesser et Coli, Paris.