press release

This video was shot in a Le Corbusier housing project, Firminy-Vert, in south central France and it's a kind of portrait of the building and it's inhabitants.

Called by its residents Le Corbu after its renowned architect, the complex was built after his death. The wing in which the tape was primarily shot had been closed for over ten years, thus enshrining the decor of the late 1960s when the building was opened. The mayor of the town, who had facilitated its development, subsequently tried to have the complex destroyed. The tenant association president describes the struggle -- only half successful -- to save the building. The tape shows the closed wing, the signs and detritus of lives long past, followed by interviews. The opening sequence of views and snapshots is silent. Here is the space for an unspoken text about architecture and the warring interpretations of Le Corbusier's idea of a human, humane, humanizing space.

Martha Roslers video was commisioned for an exhibition called Project Unité situated in the dormant apartments of the North Wing of Le Corbu in 1993. The show was curated by Yves Aupetitallot and Martha Rosler was invited to work on site together with artists like Renee Green, Christian Philip Müller and Mark Dion. The Project Unité show has been used as a paradigmatic example in recent discussion about site specificity and institutional critique (Hal Foster, Mi Won Kwon etc).

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Martha Rosler - How Do We Know What Home Looks Like?