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priscilla monge, the house
priscilla monge, the house
priscilla monge, the house

priscilla monge


the house

Priscilla Monge is an artist from Costa Rica. For her work The House, she looked at the traffic circle in Leobendorf and the landscape of northern Lower Austria very closely. She was struck by how many single-family homes she found in this area: nicely decorated houses surrounded by neatly kept yards lined with fences that both mark and protect the property.

Based on this idea, Priscilla Monge placed an "exemplary" small house – consisting of a metal structure clad with fiber cement boards – in the middle (actually a little off-center) of a large traffic circle. The house is therefore located in the middle of the very traffic that is the direct result of the many one-family homes in the area. The house is a little lopsided, as if a strong wind has been ceaselessly blowing on it from one direction. It has a chimney, two windows and a door. The house bears the two inscriptions heimlich ("secret", or "homey") and unheimlich ("uncanny"), thus referring to Sigmund Freud’s theory of the "uncanny." According to Freud, the uncanny is not what is alien and strange, but something familiar, something we experienced at home (heimlich also means "familiar" or "homey" and has the word Heim (home) as a root) – something secret that we have not been able to process.

The House can be read in many different ways. It is a small house set against the backdrop of Castle Kreuzenstein, and it is a criticism of urban sprawl, of everyone driving their own cars and of the expansive areas now covered by roads. It also represents the potential for personal reflection on what the words "secret"/"homey" and "uncanny" – what this house and one’s own house – mean, and how these meanings are constantly changing.
(Hildegund Amanshauser)

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