Huh? Artist Thomas Schutte Builds Summer Home for Terrorists
November 30, 2012
All images © Nic Tenwiggenhorn
Art can be hard to understand sometimes, as Thomas Schutte’s “Holiday Home for Terrorists” well proves . The German artist, not architect, designed and built this chic, modern house tucked away in the forest of Mosern, Austria on Polish art dealer Rafael Jablonka’s summer home property. Jablonka commissioned the house as a work of art that will never be lived in, visited, or open to the public, ever. Read more.
Schutte’s “Holiday Home” is the final product of tiny house models the artist built right after 9/11. Schutte was disgusted by how architecture was treated in the wake of the events — first being blamed for the collapse of the buildings and then too quickly becoming the center of a redesign frenzy. The house is also an ironic critique of modern architecture, perhaps a giant version of that room you’re not allowed to sit in at your parent’s house because it is just too fancy.
Architecturally, the home is stunning, an ode of sorts to mid-century glass houses that reduced structure and form to mere envelope. Large glass expanses are sandwiched between two wood planes; concrete walls inside help support the structure while creating separate spaces for the bedroom, kitchen, and bathroom that are fully furnished. Here are the comforts and visionary living promised by the modernist dream.
Artistically, however, the house is imbued with a much darker atmosphere. The absence of any signs of life is, to say the least, unnerving, a feeling heightened by the token pieces of furniture—the pristine bed, impeccable dining table—sprinkled throughout the interiors. No one can abide this living, so it seems. The dream isn’t all what it’s cracked up to be.