“What do space capsules, submarines, and office buildings have in common? Each is conceived as a closed system: a self-sustaining physical environment demarcated from its surroundings by a boundary that does not allow for the transfer of matter or energy. As partial reconstructions of the world in time and in space, closed systems identify and secure the cycling of materials necessary for the sustenance of life.”
–Lydia Kallipoliti in The Architecture of Closed Worlds, Storefront for Art and Architecture, 2018.
Emre Hüner’s a Model is not a Map a Home is not a House takes its title from the twentieth-century English architectural critic Reyner Banham’s essay “A Home is Not a House” from a 1965 issue of Art in America. He modifies it to a pseudo-mantra adding the additional language. The sound which the title evokes worked as a starting point for the pieces in this exhibition.
Hüner’s research- and process-based practice begins with readings from various art and architectural theory books, literature, and any current events related to technological advancement and environmentalism. Similar to his previous work, this installation is based on ideas stemming from utopian architecture, technology, speculative fiction, archeology, geology, and natural resources, but for this exhibition, he focuses specifically on San Antonio and its surrounding areas.
A Model is not a Map a Home is not a House incorporates objects, texts, video, and sound assembled with an almost surgical precision and attention to every detail. Unfired clay, a dissected car seat, found books and objects cast in resin, photo-engravings on paper, and silkscreens on fabric offer numerous questions about the sources of these objects.
The video footage was captured at various locations in San Antonio, features a character (played by Artpace residency alumnus Katie Pell), and a voiceover reading from several source materials such as United States Mollusca, Planetary Encounters: The Future of Unmanned Space Flight, and Controlled Environments for Plant Research. Hüner’s presentation of these found and made objects alludes to narratives of historical fiction, the perception of time, and the natural world’s relationship to the modern civilization while encouraging the viewer to ask whether they are vestiges of a past society or one of the future.
Image Credit: Seale Studio