House for Travellers

Artist: Marjetica Potrc
installation | 2000

House for Travellers, 2000, urban installation The main interest of Marjetica Potre is urban societies of the world. She is particularly interested in the contemporary city: cities laid out according to a plan, and also cities that feature an empty space within their cityscapes - the so-called urban void. These urban voids can live a double life. They either represent abandoned residential areas - or an empty house within a cityscape - or are filled with unarticulated housing construction, tenements and other types of architecture. She tells the stories of modern cities with an emphatically emotional attitude and calls our attention to them in her writings: "Empty houses or empty cities which have been abandoned by their inhabitants are never a neutral space. They are either frightening or beautiful". One cannot speak of a neutral space even if we have in mind a public space like a dormitory complex or a residential district of random construction such as the favelas. All of them are very closed communities, very strong, but under even stronger control. But Potre believes that the planned cities and the favelas nevertheless have something in common. They are both constructed according to an overall plan that makes living in them difficult. The unbearable conditions in favelas are generally well known, but the problems of planned cities are less evident. However, these cities are not only problematic for the people, but also for the cities themselves. They are all keenly aware of the fact that once such a city is firmly rooted, its growth runs out of control. This type of field research is much more to the artist's liking than the installation of some kind of metaphors-in-galleries. In the field, she gathers information on local materials, which she then uses in the construction of her structures in the landscape or in the gallery. Her projects transcend their representative value. If at all possible the artist allows them to be upgraded by local people or visitors. The home in Rakova Jelša has its prehistory in Kenya. When the local population received aid in the form of small houses, they refused to live in conventional houses, but only wanted a roof over their heads, as was their tradition. So they built them a tiny house for their possessions and a roof extension. Just as the houses in Kenya, ours is also waiting to be upgraded, and that's certainly going to happen.


Manifesta 3 - Borderline Syndrome. Energies of Defence | 2000.06.23 - 2000.09.24 | Cankarjev Dom(Ljubljana, Slovenia) | International Centre of Graphic Arts(Ljubljana, Slovenia) | Museum of Modern Art(Ljubljana, Slovenia) | National Museum of Slovenia(Ljubljana, Slovenia) | RTV Slovenia