November 04, 2016
“The goal is not to make works of art, it is to live the artwork as a goal”.
Questioning the parameters of living space, Jean-Pierre Raynaud began building his most monumental structural piece in 1969. The structure, being his own house, Raynaud wanted to create a space that coincided with his own self. Located in La Celle Saint-Cloud, France, construction of the work continued for 24 years. Obsessive to transform and reinvent his domestic space, the structure was clad in 15 x 15cm white ceramic tiles, with black grout in between creating a mesmerizing visual effect. In 1993 the structure was demolished and placed in a thousand containers that was displayed in the CAPC Museum of Contemporary Art in Bordeaux as the final stage of the project.
“In 23 years, the house has experienced five successive stages. And I very much wanted to lead the metamorphoses myself. When, in 1988 I realized that it was really over, it was a terrible shock, as the culmination of a search, the end of a life. As I did not want to accept that my relationship with the house was terminated, for four years I have reflected on the meaning of this “work” that failed me as if I had to be the guardian until my death . I realized that being unique, the house deserved more audacity and respect than what had become this perfect, frozen architecture, – which is characteristic of art -: I had to let it
undergo an exceptional fate, worthy of it. I decided to transform it, to bring it elsewhere, to make it live an absolute experience. For that, the house had to undergo an ultimate transformation: its own demolition. ” Jean-Pierre Raynaud, 1993.