My House is a Le Corbusier – Esprit Nouveau Pavilion

My house is a Le Corbusier is a project by Cristian Chironi, which opened in Bologna on 7 January 2015, featuring the numerous domestic structures around the world designed by the famous architect, in which the artist is residing for a period. Both a work in progress and a crucible of ideas, research and exhibition – not to mention a living experience – My house is a Le Corbusier is intended to evolve over the long term and culminate in the totality of all the experiences that Chironi will undergo while actually living for variable periods of time in the many homes designed by Le Corbusier around the world.

The long-term project (which will unfold over the potential arc of 30 habitable homes by Corbusier in 12 countries) is a performance, stretched out over time, house after house. “Pilgrim houses”, inextricably tied to the movement and the intersection of diverse geographies and cultures.

Chironi’s point of departure is a real historical episode: in the late 1960s, the Sardinian artist Costantino Nivola, who enjoyed a great friendship and collaboration with Le Corbusier, stopping by his hometown of Orani (also Chironi’s birthplace), entrusted his brother’s family with the construction of “Chischeddu” a design by the great architect, with the hope that he and his sons, all of them masons, would scrupulously follow the plans. But they failed to understand the importance of this. Some time later, returning from Long Island, Costantino discovered that the house they had built did not correspond at all to the specifications which, as the entire family protested, “had neither doors nor windows and looked more like a shack than a house.” Costantino Nivola reacted by seizing the plans, which have since been lost. The house, which still stands today in Orani, built with a preference for low-brow functionality over the modernist vision of the architect, reflects only the ‘mood,’ if that, of the original concept.

Taking inspiration from this real episode, Cristian Chironi identifies the narrative potential for an analysis of a series of relationships in the contemporary, tied to the concepts of communication, reading, and interpretation, with the consequent linguistic and socio-political implications. Falling, in this historical period of precarious economic stability, in the impossibility of owning one’s own home, bartering the freedom to live in the houses designed by Le Corbusier around the world. Chironi turns these houses into “privileged vantage points” to better understand how the legacy of Le Corbusier is perceived today, and in what condition the “home of man” currently finds itself. A reading of architecture through storytelling and the direct experience of its spatiotemporal dimension, where one can discuss and see the artist at work, partake in events, consult the assembled material or simply drink a coffee.

The first stop in this geography of habitation is the Esprit Nouveau Pavilion in Bologna, after which he will move in April 2015 to the studio-apartment in Rue Nungesser et Coli, Paris. Cristian Chironi’s residence at the Esprit Nouveau will take place over three weeks, from 7 – 25 January 2015, and will be measured out by a week of solitary work, another week where visitors can interact directly with the artist and be invited into the space, and another open to the public in exhibition form during ART CITY Bologna in concomitance with Arte Fiera.

Program schedule:

Sunday 18 January at 2.30 pm and at 3.30 pm, two guided tours of the Esprit Nouveau Pavilion conducted by engineer Francesca Talò.

Saturday 24 January at 7.30 pm, a live performance by FrancescoFuzzBrasini. The sound is based on the orchestration of the measurements indicated in the architectural plans of the Pavilion, transformed into music with the help of sinusoid.

The Esprit Nouveau Pavilion, originally built in Paris by Corbusier in 1925, was reproduced in Bologna in 1977 in the present-day fairgrounds, thanks to the joint efforts of architects Giuliano Gresleri and Josè Oubrerie, on an initiative by the Ente Fiera and the Municipality of Bologna, since 2011 ceded for free use to the Region, which reopened to the public as a center of cultural promotion for the city and surrounding territory and as the hub of the regional network of Urban Centers.
The My house is a Le Corbusier project is a key element in the event programming hosted by the Esprit Nouveau Pavilion insofar as it fosters reflection on the residential use of Le Corbusier’s works.

Cristian Chironi (Nuoro 1974), visual and performance artist, active since 1998. He studied at the Accademia di Belle Arti in Bologna. He is interested in various languages, including performance, photography, video, installations and site-specific public works. His artistic enquiry strives to demonstrate the relationships among multiple levels: reality and fiction, memory and contemporaneity, figure and image, conflict and integration, material and immaterial. He has exhibited in numerous public and private spaces in Italy and abroad. Among his recent solo shows: OPEN #1 Broken English, MAN_Museo d’Arte Provincia, Nuoro. Group shows: Le leggi dell’ospitalità, P420 Bologna; L’immagine del tempo, Artopia Milano. Festivals: Sunny Side Up Netwerk / center for contemporary art Aalst, Belgium.

My house is a Le Corbusier (Esprit Nouveau Bologna) is supported by the Fondation Le Corbusier in Paris in collaboration with MAMbo – Museo d’Arte Moderna di Bologna, Xing and the Region of Emilia-Romagna, and is documented by the publication realized by MAN_Museo d’Arte Provincia di Nuoro and sponsored by ART CITY Bologna 2015 in concomitance with Arte Fiera.

Padiglione Esprit Nouveau – Piazza Costituzione 11, Bologna
7 – 25 January 2015 – residence period
14 – 22 January 2015 – individual visits by appointment
23 – 25 January 2015 – open to the public