"Through design we can change stories"
“Beneath the surface, Reality”
“It is the desperate moment when we discover that this empire which had seemed to us the sum of all wonders is an endless, formless ruin, that corruption’s gangrene has spread too far to be healed by our sceptre, that the triumph over enemy sovereigns has made us the heirs of their long undoing. (…)
If you want to know how much darkness there is around you, you must sharpen your eyes, peering at the faint lights in the distance” Italo Calvino in Invisible Cities
In my perspective, these two quotes from the Italian journalist Italo Calvino give the exact idea of being homeless nowadays: – There is a hidden city, a hidden secret within the streets of London. A silent community that lives in the darkness and it’s forgotten everyday, every month, every year. After many attempts to win the fight against “enemy sovereigns”, the only way out is the emptiness of the unknown.
So all in all, my box represents an engagement with metaphysical and existential questions concerning human’s vulnerability in the world. In other words, the aim of the concept is to make visible how “the world touches us”…how other lives, dreams and fears can pass us by as if there is no compassion in the heart of the city. In the heart of each one of us.
I wanted to create a level of honesty and intimacy between the viewer and the box. After all, homeless is not another word in the dictionary; it does exist. So in order to understand and articulate this interaction, I decided to create a polyphony of senses in which the viewer will see the paraphernalia of the city from above and he will discover that there are “survivors” below the buildings and lifeless bodies above. He will then stop and reflect, but the truth is, he will only be able to contemplate this “invisible city”, where homelessness reigns, from far away. From a distance, from a mile. Exactly, like if this was just the extension of his normal life.
The wood buildings flying in the centre of the box will be hanged by fishing wire and represent the city that lives in the rhythm of time and space, indifferent to its own injustices.
The people behind and above the buildings will represent the Homeless, the Invisible City. These are the ones who can see but cannot be seen…they see the city as something distant, almost unlikely to be reached. For the ones below the buildings, the city is like a miracle waiting to happen or a light at the end of an endless tunnel. For the ones above the buildings, the city is just a dream that never happened, a hand never reached. A life never fulfilled.