for Travellers, 2000, urban installation
House for Travellers, 2000, urban installation The main interest
of Marjetica Potre is urban societies of the world. She is
particularly interested in the contemporary city: cities laid
out according to a plan, and also cities that feature an empty
space within their cityscapes - the so-called urban void.
These urban voids can live a double life. They either represent
abandoned residential areas - or an empty house within a cityscape
- or are filled with unarticulated housing construction, tenements
and other types of architecture. She tells the stories of
modern cities with an emphatically emotional attitude and
calls our attention to them in her writings: "Empty houses
or empty cities which have been abandoned by their inhabitants
are never a neutral space. They are either frightening or
beautiful". One cannot speak of a neutral space even if we
have in mind a public space like a dormitory complex or a
residential district of random construction such as the favelas.
All of them are very closed communities, very strong, but
under even stronger control. But Potre believes that the planned
cities and the favelas nevertheless have something in common.
They are both constructed according to an overall plan that
makes living in them difficult. The unbearable conditions
in favelas are generally well known, but the problems of planned
cities are less evident. However, these cities are not only
problematic for the people, but also for the cities themselves.
They are all keenly aware of the fact that once such a city
is firmly rooted, its growth runs out of control. This type
of field research is much more to the artist's liking than
the installation of some kind of metaphors-in-galleries. In
the field, she gathers information on local materials, which
she then uses in the construction of her structures in the
landscape or in the gallery. Her projects transcend their
representative value. If at all possible the artist allows
them to be upgraded by local people or visitors. The home
in Rakova Jelša has its prehistory in Kenya. When the local
population received aid in the form of small houses, they
refused to live in conventional houses, but only wanted a
roof over their heads, as was their tradition. So they built
them a tiny house for their possessions and a roof extension.
Just as the houses in Kenya, ours is also waiting to be upgraded,
and that's certainly going to happen.