Each house needs to be composed as a symphony, with variations on a few themes.
—R.M. Schindler, 1926
I have come to view the Schindler House as a living organism. In order to reveal various aspects of its life, I propose to install a trio of related video works that will build upon Schindler’s spatial and material principles, both structurally and imagistically.
Two of the videos will emanate from small projectors in two of the utility closets in the house. The first of these will depict Schindler House caretaker Omar Velasquez in the process of planting vegetables in the garden, in an evolving series of rhythmic phrases whose time signature is based on multiples of four. These phrases will repeat continually, each recurring in slightly varied form, much like a melodic phrase in a symphony undergoing subtle shifts in tone and rhythm. Or perhaps like the form of one of the tomato plants in the gridded garden. Organic flow and fluidity are the result of a unified system of rhythmic subdivision. For Schindler, this is achieved in space. For myself, this is achieved in time. Of course, the two are intertwined.
The second utility closet video depicts the process of Omar and co-caretaker Israel Fuentes replacing the homosote panels in the house. In this piece, the house itself becomes a camera, and a dynamic play evolves between architectural and photographic apertures. Interiors of the camera and the house progressively meld with their respective exteriors into a legato and syncopated flow.
The final work will be installed as an extended video loop in the Clyde Chace studio, projected as large as possible on the wall above the fireplace. It expands upon the aforementioned fluidity by using the camera to “stare” for extended periods at tiny crepuscular details within the house. Crevices and textures open up to reveal worlds that defy fixity, both in terms of scale and recognition. The extremely low depth of field creates zones of intensity—large, soft regions and small, sharp lines of focus. These zones move and breathe as the mind seeks out figuration, pushing boundaries beyond both the camera and the house, into interiority and exteriority of the perceptual apparatus.