Public Housing

„One's own body and mind seem to be the only lasting and reliable in the inconstancy; one who strives for safety, obviously needs to invest in self-preservation.“ Zygmunt Bauman 

In the search for „protective spaces“, i.e. places of rest or metaphorically speaking „temporary homes“, the artists Nathalie Fari and Daniel Schäfer explores different locations in the public spaces in order to create a common language and interaction. While Nathalie uses the lying posture to experience the state of dwelling in a certain place, Daniel uses photography to illustrate and reinvent these experiences. Their goal is not to “mirror” these often-unusual places, but rather to create a contrast: a resting place (or point) in the middle of the urban landscape and amid all the movement and agitation taking place in it. 

This performative and visual language has the intention to research and accentuate the actual dimensions of the relation between architecture and human being, especially from the point of view of the fragility of the body. Here the feelings of oppression, fear and the lack of space experienced by a large part of the population in today’s big cities, plays an important role. In PUBLIC HOUSING these feelings or unavoidable phenomena aren’t seen as a lens to dramatize, but as way to develop new strategies of how to deal with them creatively. 

The first two cities and editions of the project took place in 2011 at the Myra Vidal Art Show in Madrid (ES) and in 2012 at the Galeria Virgílio in São Paulo (BR). The next edition of the project is in the planning process with the focus on Asia. 


Idea, Concept: Nathalie Fari / Daniel Schäfer // Performance: Nathalie Fari // Photography: Daniel Schäfer 

Press Notes: 

The lack of or the demand for space - not only in the physical and geographically sense, but also mentally - in the megacitys of the world, has reached more people, leading many to a continuous process of change. Especially the public space, which in its origin was designed as a place of encounter and exchange between different social classes, has become more of a crossing than a permanent space. Only a few isolated squares and parks remain as the only places, where it is still possible to live with each other and with the city. In São Paulo, for example, these sites are still scarce, making a majority of people, spend their free time at the shopping malls (which are not necessarily public spaces, as there is a selection of who enters and who doesn't) or preferably away from the city. 

Excerpt from the press release / Galeria Virgílio, São Paulo, Aug 2012