The Rehousing project is the result of the artist’s interest in finding artistic solutions to problems of modernism that have never been fully resolved in the course of the movement’s history. It consists of minutely detailed, scale models of housing projects which are case studies for a mental geography of different forms and modes of modernity. Among the ten models showcased in Taipei Biennial 2016 four of them are new works: one of the few derelict buildings left from Vann Molyvann’s “100 Houses” project completed in 1967 for workers of the National Bank of Cambodia in Tuk Thia, Phnom Penh (101); a dingzihu or Chinese “nail house,” an architectural landmark in times of rampant redevelopment and social change (Holdout); a dome from Drop City, the short-lived counterculture community founded in Southern Colorado in 1965, which transformed Buckminster Fuller’s geodesic design principles into a DIY version (Dome); and a recently installed container home from a refugee camp in Jordan, a case study of contemporary political architecture (Azraq). The other six models were produced between 2012 and 2014: the artist’s parental home in Austria (Gründbergstraße 22); the private residence of Ho Chi Minh in Hanoi (Uncle Ho); the modernist utopia of Luigi Piccinato’s Villa tropicale, a prototype colonial house designed during the Fascist era but never constructed (Villa Tropicale); a naturalistic model of an anonymous slave cabin on the Evergreen Plantation in Louisiana (Evergreen); philosopher Martin Heidegger’s hut in the Black Forest Mountains of Southern Germany (Heidegger); and a model of one of the shacks built by African refugees in Berlin and demolished by the police in April 2014 (Oranienplatz).
Failed States is a large picture comprising twenty national flags, which explores failure and the ambiguity of the parameters we are used to adopting when passing judgements. It refers to the infamous “Failed States Index” published each year in collaboration with Foreign Policy by The Fund for Peace. These twenty states, including some that do not exist yet, are a symbol of a further failure, which involves those same parameters used for their selection.