An Artist Studio for an Anti Artist

The brief? Choose an artist and design a studio for them. My choice was Marcel Duchamp. Duchamp challenged the conventions of art and the way in which it can be presented.

The challenge? How to create an artist studio for an anti artist who ended up turning his back on the art world to play chess? How do you subvert the traditional notion of an artist working away in isolation in a paint splattered studio?

My approach sought to explore some ideas that I see in Duchamp’s work, into the making of architecture – MOVEMENT, PERCEPTION, OBSERVATION, SUSPENSION, REFLECTION

  • Drawing the spectator into the life of the studio – meaning through observing “The creative act is not performed by the artist alone; the spectator brings the work in contact with the external world by deciphering and interpreting its inner qualifications and thus adds his contribution to the creative act. – Marcel Duchamp
  • Melting the architecture into the city. Rather than being a showpiece, a symbol and an object to be admired, it is to reflect back the dynamism of the city to the spectator and to melt into the city.
  • Kinetics. Duchamp’s works involved movement and being viewed from multiple angles. Moving through the studio is to be a ‘kinetic’ experience. It will offer a changing, outward looking experience. It will allow Duchamp multiple ways to view his own works. The space will change over time and as you move through it in terms of light, air, views, temperature and sound.

The site is an interstitial space, between two heritage listed former industrial brick buildings in Brisbane’s CBD in an area that was formerly known as Frog’s Hollow.

More on Frog’s Hollow…”This dilapidated, unsanitary zone was also associated with moral decay, for it was the home of Brisbane’s ‘red-light’ district, with its cluster of brothels in Margaret street, owned by Mary O’Brien and Marie Naylor, as well as Brisbane’s small ‘Chinatown,’ located virtually at the centre of Frog’s Hollow, along Albert and Mary Streets. Here, Chinese shops, residences and boarding houses subsisted alongside gambling rooms, opium parlours, pubs and sly-grog shops. To these ‘hot-beds of crime and vice’, it was said, ‘prowling gangs of wolf-like larrikins’ were attracted like magnets, mixing with a ‘filthy swarm of cursing slatterns,’ and young blue and white-collar workers ‘out on a spree.’ The area was forbidden territory, exciting, dirty and dangerous;” Raymond Evans Read More