artist / participant
From Living Units to Escape Vehicles to Wagon Stations, the best-known A-Z designs are fluid and ever changing. Even after their conception, there is always an assumption that the work will change or evolve in new ways benefiting each owner. But what about when the project stays in the hands of the designer? When Andrea Zittel lives with her own work, it seldom stays static or fixed.
On December 18th at Regen Projects, and for the 15 year anniversary of the gallery, Andrea Zittel will present an A-Z Homestead Unit that has been “in progress” at A-Z West since 1999. Originally this Homestead Unit was built as a sister piece to a Living Unit, which was exhibited at Sadie Coles HQ in London. (The Living Unit that went to London acquired an interesting history of its own, when it was destroyed by the MoMart fire in 2003.)
A few years later, when A-Z West was expanded to include several surrounding parcels, the A-Z Homestead Unit was reinstalled as a guesthouse in a nearby wash. Multi-hued olive greens and browns replaced the blue exterior, and new redwood furniture was made complete with a small “u-haul” water system. Just when the A-Z Homestead Unit was well settled into its location, a rare southern windstorm picked up the unit, smashed it against the 10’ boulders surrounding it, and then dropped the entire structure down again on top of the furniture inside. The damage was spectacular.
Instead of restoring the piece to its original condition, Andrea Zittel saw this as an opportunity to experiment further, and rebuilt the A-Z Homestead Unit to serve a new and different set of needs. The A-Z Homestead Unit, which will be shown at Regen Projects, is an all-new indoor version, which synthesizes other areas of research at A-Z West into a single cohesive living system.
One of the most successful features of the A-Z West Homestead Unit was the flow between the interior and exterior, as the surrounding desert landscape became an extension of its indoor space. This flow has similarly been retained in the new unit by installing it with A-Z Raugh Furniture. Raugh Furniture (another A-Z design pioneered in 1999) is made of sculpted soft charcoal grey foam. It provides a landscape, which can be carved or sculpted into seating and storage configurations--as the needs arise. Blocks of foam inside the unit serve as sleeping, eating and working space, and an even larger foam landscape surrounding the unit extends all of these functions outwards. Because Raugh Furniture by nature is forever malleable, it can continually be carved or modified--the 2004 variation of the A-Z Homestead Unit promises even more evolutions in the future.
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