jasmine house \ casa jazmin
Blanca, Spain \ Blanca, Espana
Curator: Elena Azzedin
Partners in Charge/ Lead: Sarvesh Singh
Associated with: AADK Espana
Location: Blanca, Murcia, Spain
Type: installation, design, light, sound, labyrinth, multi-sensory, place-making, haptics, landscape, site specific, re-animation
Tags: body, territory, spatiality, forensic reconstruction,
hyper-contextual investigation and response
What makes a house a home?
The type of places which are deeply connected to their environment, grounded and inward looking, sometimes lack authorship. But they never fail to invoke a relentless imagery/memory of how life would have unfolded in them - of how construction was layered in by the people who built it, gradually over decades, perhaps even over generations.
On one hand, we have the subjective memory of a place, maybe a pleasant time in our childhood, perhaps a thick cloud of nostalgia - when a sense of safety was synonymous with leisure and play. Contrastingly, there is the objective experience of a nowness, being present in this very moment, often by circumstance, other times by choice.
Imagine a time when this quaint settlement was still a sanctuary for those fleeting from wars in the Iberian peninsula. Circling back to the age-old story of Casa Jazmin, built by faceless, rugged hands who, quite possibly, worked as farmers in the orange and lemon orchards, somewhere deep in the Ricote Valley. How does one decode this humble relationship with the ancient landscape, both for Casa Jazmín and its occupant/s?
We start with a LiDAR scan of the Casa. It floats above in digital space, as an interactive memory embedded on-screen. This digital ghost imbues all the distortions, glitches and biases inherent to human recall. Melting in some places, fusing in others, it never quiet achieves full objectivity of expression.
However, from these exact flaws, emerge some potent questions. One can't help but ponder upon how did Casa Jazmin begin to materialise here. What roads and pathways were its building materials mobilised through? Despite the passage of time, which modes of awareness does the place still spark?
Inspired thus, the Casa's silence is punctuated only by sounds specific to its erstwhile spatial program - a carefree laughter of children, the cackle of poultry, and a spiritual experience encoded within, by its fireplace. By illuminating a pathway through the house with a riot of lights, moments of magical suspense and repose are laid out. Here and there, the imagination runs wild, populating its kaleidoscopic atmosphere with all kinds of scenarios, anachronistic but immersive.
Stepping in we inhabit an odd world, familiar yet enchanted. Meandering through its doors, stairs, coops and terraces, their smallness nudges one to shrinking slightly, invoking a keen awareness of their own physicality. As we realise our place within the house, it realises its place within the magenta hillscape. What makes a house a home is always in the background, below our threshold of consciousness - subliminal.