Wednesday, January 11, 2012

The house that I inhabit

In the autumn of 2010 I organised a psychogeographic city walk centered upon the Koorenhuis in The Hague. A classicistic grain exchange built in 1660.
I started the walk with a short story by the Dutch artist Armando:
I walked through the rooms where many generations have lived. Who have lived here, what were their conversations like, how were their rooms decorated, who have been born there, who died there, and what about their personnel? 
I do not know. It would be important to know, but I do not know. Maybe I could have learnt some things, but somehow I don't want to. Once you start the task is endless. You can investigate and get to know some things, but you can never know everything. New questions will emerge to harass you. I should make peace with the fact that there are things I don't know and never will know.
Armando - Oude huizen - Voorvallen in de Wildernis | Old houses - Incidents in the Wilderness

Here Armando takes the opposite view of psychogeographers like Nick Papdimitriou who try to know all  about the places they inhabit so they can merge with  the topography. And the questions pondered by Armando are quite easy to answer.

A short search in the central library of The Hague yielded several pictures of the surroundings of the Koorenhuis that clearly show "who have lived there".

How the Koorenmarkt looked while in use as a grain exchange.
How the surroundings looked in 1755.

1 comment:

  1. Some places may be guilty but reflections of long shadows are the most beautiful