An Entire House Will Be Planted Underground for Nasher XChange

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Images courtesy of Secession, Vienna
Lara Almarcegui's "Bauschutt Hauptraum Secession" in Secession, Vienna
Lara Almarcegui attracted international buzz when she filled the Spanish Pavilion with construction materials at the 2013 Venice Biennale. The 1922 building became the casing for its own eventual decay, with mountains of smashed rubble, bricks and building tiles authentic to the pavilion's composition piled within. It's work like that and the above-shown material mounds in Vienna that Almarcegui has become known for, where the evolution and destruction of urban areas are transformed into points of reflection.

Now the Nasher's announced her project for XChange, and it'll take you directly into a fallen Dallas neighborhood to stand on a buried house.

The Spanish-born artist is working closely with Dallas Habitat for Humanity after reading a recent study on blight effects within the city's limits. Abandoned or vacant properties, foreclosures, demolished structures -- they all weigh in on both an area's livability and the value of its surrounding neighborhoods. The study was done in partnership with UNT researchers and found that Dallas' home ownership rate is 19.3 percent below the state average and that little is being done to keep up the aging rentals.

End result: blight, and lots of it.

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This Oak Cliff Gardens dwelling will soon be 'dozed and buried.
Almarcegui enjoys using historical, ecological and geographical source material for her sculptures, and from that reading she's selected the neighborhood Oak Cliff Gardens for her piece. The area ranks high in blight, so she's worked with Dallas Habitat to select the above-shown property that's scheduled for demolition. Once knocked down, portions that are non-environmentally safe will be removed, with rest being buried underground.

The remaining mountain of earth will be climbable to encourage viewer interaction. Here, Almarcegui hopes to give Dallas a vantage point for refection through public art. And once XChange ends on February 16, habitat will use the space as its needs demand, cycling the property from blight to art to treasured home.

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"Buried House" is the ninth of 10 public art projects that make-up Nasher XChange. Before this we saw Christian Long's futuristic wishing well at NorthPark Mall. Vicki Meek shared her plan to illuminate the great people, events and outreach spurred by Bishop College though historical channeling. Also from-here collective Good/Bad sets the dial for performance art during a one-night-only television show, the final product of which will air on your upper dial, so set that Tivo. Alfredo Jaar plans to build a baby scream pavilion at the Nasher. Up in Vickery Meadow, Rick Lowe is at work to unite a disjointed neighborhood through cultural cross-pollination and pop-up public markets; at the site of UT Dallas' new ATEC building, where a shared art and technology curriculum launches in 2014, Liz Larner will install a mirror-polished steel sculpture representative of the merged practices; Swedish-raised artist Ugo Rondinone has chosen to build a simple pier into Fish Trap Lake and paint it brilliantly, luring visitors out for unadulterated reflection; and Ruben Ochoa will build from the Trinity River Audubon's own soil to create a series of construction site mounds reminiscent of birds in formation.


Nasher Xchange runs from October 19 to February 16, 2014.

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