Der Grüne Salon
video projection, 4:3 format, 10:55 min, Hubert Blanz, 2005
The Secretly Ornamented Home
Walls have two sides to them: when, as Vilém Flusser says, the outside wall is political and the inside one secretive it is a ‘homeless’ wall (as in Berlin or China) and has the function of protecting the “secret place of the heart from being visited by evil spirits.” This metaphor is an important analogy for the political and social framing conditions in the Biedermeier era, a time marked by the bourgeoisie’s flights into the pleasures and ‘secret’ intimacy of the home. Seen from this perspective, it is not at all surprising that the inner surface of the protective wall is drawing greater attention and has gained significance for interior design.
The bourgeoisie’s desire to represent turned more and more inwards with a growing need for privacy and individuality. This became reflected in the inventory of domestic utensils and the interior decoration, and the living room acquired a special position as the breeding ground for social interaction. Inner walls became projection screens for a common lifestyle and a wishing well for the collective fantasies of a romantic refuge.
In A Room of my Own, shown at the Hofmobiliendepot, Imperial Furniture Collection Vienna, Blanz investigates the potential spatial depth in repetitive surface structures. The ambience of the “Grüner Salon” [Green Salon], a display room for prototypical Biedermeier and Vormärz [Pre-March] era furnishings, serves Blanz as a projection screen for two layers of time. In keeping with a fractal logic, they overlap and become compressed into a kind of wallpaper with a ‘deep surface’. The ornament’s self-similarity thus becomes an expression of its eternal temporality.
Translations: Nita Tandon, Vienna