Imagined and construed as a habitation, Arnaud Eubelen’s installation My Homies questions what the essence of a household is.
Text by Jeanne Mouffe
The variety of words that designate a living space indicate its polymorphic nature: house, home, habitat, residence, “my place”, domicile, household, shelter. The living space acts as a differentiator between the exterior and the interior, the familiar and the unknown. Referring to a ‘place where fire is made’, the hearth emphasises the warmth and familiarity of the living space: far from being a transient shelter, the home is a space that is being turned to time and again. This sense of mutual belonging between the home and its occupant is underlined in the distinction the English language makes between a house and a home.
With My Homies, Arnaud Eubelen suggests that the home can be defined by the sharing of a space with the inanimate cohabitants that are the furniture - or even more broadly, the objects that occupy it. Homies are not only close friends but also the objects around which we gather. In other words, the home is less about the walls that delimit the space than the objects that occupy it.
As a symbolic reproduction of the artist’s flat in Brussels, My Homies creates a singular space that could serve s an ideal home in a dystopian future. It invites the visitor into a new experience, in which he or she is the inhabitant of a space that is as aesthetic as it appears hostile to life. Objects with industrial materials and sharp shapes stand in categorical opposition to any attempt at organic development. The particular scenography of My Homies also makes it an immersive work, an installation whose elements extend to the surface of the walls, the colour of the ceiling.
The mirror placed at the entrance inaugurates the journey between light and darkness, clear reflection and indiscernible figure. Through the efficiency of the method and the authenticity of the material - a waste product, recovered from the street and barely transformed, now an essential component of the home - Arnaud Eubelen invites the visitor to question all the possible combinations between the inside, the familiar, the outside, and the strange.
Edition by Birthday, Felony & Fuss