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Eating mom and dad at Louisiana exhibit

The ideal kitchen is a site for cannibalism. So the off-beat interpretation of University of Copenhagen professor and consultant at a new art exhibit at Louisiana

This is not what most professors would say during a lecture when speaking of homes.

But then University of Copenhagen assistant professor Mark Vacher is not like most. Vacher explains to the University Post that the kitchen is where children consume their parent’s love, in the form of tasty meals lovingly prepared for them by mom and dad, which is one of the ways a house is transformed into a home for the residing family.

It is this unique ability to understand how people live and experience their home that landed Vacher the position of consultant for the Louisiana Museum of Modern Art’s exhibit, Living Frontiers of Architecture III-IV.

Marking your territory

Drawing on extensive research on houses in Denmark, Mark Vacher, who teaches and researches at the Saxo Institute, Faculty of Humanities in Copenhagen, used his expertise to help the museum visually display the intangible notion of home and explain the processes, tools, and behaviours people use to create a dwelling or home.

»This cup tells me I’ve been in this room, my things tell me I’m here. They give testimony to my existence,« he says.

The use of material objects helps a person control space, which in turns allows them to create a home.

Everyday Rituals

Humans use a variety of materials to create homes and the exhibit showcases a dizzying variety, including the wooden Dali-esque structures of America’s Burning Man Festival to the metal 4m2 cage homes of China’s impoverished underclass.

In addition to material objects, homes are created through repetitious rituals, ranging from the elaborate like a julefrokost, the traditional Danish Christmas dinner, to the mundane, like washing one’s hair.

»The certainty that we can expect continuity and repetition […] gives us the feeling of having a solid platform from which to involve ourselves in the world,« he explains.

Last chance this weekend

In addition to the attention grabbing structures, the exhibit also contains pieces that showcase everyday rituals in creative and imaginative ways, including video installations and interactive models.

Those interested in learning more about the notion of homes are advised to get to the Louisiana quickly, the exhibit ends 23 October and the museum has limited supplies of the accompanying catalogue.

In the meantime check out a subtitled interview with Mark Vacher here.

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