01.06.2017
June

I’m in front of the house trying to think of some way of making this side seem less austere. More welcoming. You see standing here in front of the house I feel under the gaze; both of the history of this place, but also the authority, power and wealth of it. It’s quite polarising. I guess half the people that walk past and see it will think, that place is not for me, I’m not welcome there.

What is it that gives the building such a presence: is it the formality, is it the scale? Is it because of the colonial history of wealth in Amsterdam? Is it because it just doesn’t seem friendly?……….. But it’s not that big; and almost seems to be smiling; the façade is fairly humorous actually. So why is it still that it has that thing…. Is it an economic thing, is about feeling like you don’t belong, about exclusion. A symbol of elitism, perhaps….. But if you enter the house from the other side its a very different story. You come though the bushes and are welcomed into the arms garden. Of course from the back the formality is still clear, its just as much a status symbol but there’s something more homely about it. Why is that? Why is being welcoming a good thing, perhaps its not. Somehow I think it is.

I could try and do something to make it more… what’s the word…. earthly. You could have a big dung heap, a big pile of steaming horse shit, but it’s not the 17th century. You could have a stack of bicycles. A bicycle parking; that way you’d see that there were lots of people around and perhaps feel more inquisitive. You could….. I guess it’s partly because it’s in the shadow. So you could have a reflector on the roof that undoes that. You could plant. What would it look like if it were overgrown? The Frankendael as a ruin… I’m just romanticising it now.

The mote. The mote makes it private. The gate….. You could have a big sign that says welcome. You could have something hanging from the attic hook. You could use voice, you could have a town crier, crying all ‘welcome’. The sculptures are all looking out at you. Maybe there needs to be something that looks back at the house. Shining a mirror back towards it. Maybe I should turn around these sculptures and let them look back. Could their historic gaze tame the austerity? Trapping it in a kaleidoscope of awareness.