Venice biennale 1996 Floor installation for the Japanese Pavillion


The installation covering the exhibition space floor is made of actual debris from houses destroyed in the Kobe Earthquake, transported here especially for the show. Making this, first of all, a “grave for architecture.” Viewers standing before these huge piles of lumber are free to feel whatever nostalgia or exoticism they will. Still, it must be said that when houses are knocked down in the wood frame construction belt, what you get is not “rubble” so much as “scrapwood;” they don’t even leave ruins. In that sense, this installation can only prove a “grave for memory.” In any case, thanks to the earthquake, the culture of traditional woodframe housing has come to an end. And at the same time, as if dragged down with it, the century has also ended. Kobe merely came a little ahead of schedule. Our future is already projected in the “post”-quake. This is what I want to get across with this debris installation. That the earthquake might just have been to “destroyer” invited in advance of creator.