The project started with „The house Alice built“, an early modernist spatial utopia: The residential building was designed without a kitchen by architect Alice Constance Austin for a socialist community in California at the beginning of the 20th century. She subtracted or eliminated the kitchen from the private dwelling, in order to communalize it. A central kitchen, serving the whole community, should instead be operated through paid professionals. The intention was to change not just the life of women and their situation of unpaid and invisible housework but also the social relations between the community members and their environment. The utopian model and the community only existed from 1913 to 17.
The project activates and actualizes the implied methodology of subtraction (n-1) that is very different from renown modernist utopian projects (Le Corbusier’s Plan Voisin, Archigram’s Walking City, etc. ): masculine maximum projects of total reduction, tabula rasa, and complete redesign.In contrast the method of subtraction (not of total reduction and destruction) might seem minimal or minor, as it just deletes one room, one element, or one character. However, it has the potential to produce fundamental change and new relations between things and beings.
Supported by Goethe-Institut Istanbul.Curated by T. Melih Görgün.Special thanks to Ezgi Çiftçi, Mert Karaçikay, Nisan Yildirim, Ayşe İdil.Download the exhibition text