The «Houses of the Ordinary and the Fancy» are poetical spaces anchored in non-profit organizations, community centers, collectives, etc… found in cities, suburbs and working class districts. It includes the participation of the users or inhabitants of specific space as co-authors, artisans and craftsmen (dart club, dressmaking, family education, etc…). A team of artists and technicians meet up with these users, and through various workshops materialize with them their desires and questioning: «Why this activity rather than another one», «What do I find here spending time with others» … Overall the idea is to figure these interior movements one has, outside oneself : Together they elaborate a lay-out leaning on notions such as re-use of abandoned objects and materials, relationship between aesthetic and functionality, identity, history and function of the specific space.
Concerning inhabitants and non-artists, the notion of incompetence is an assumption as for awaited results, but by definition, in creativity there should not be any expectation. On the other hand the quality of what is rendered falls under the progression and the adjustments of the project, where qualities of inventiveness, sensitivity are particularly stimulated. It is also made possible to develop singularity, to exceed the feeling of exclusion which touches downgraded people, exiled or moved away from their culture.
This consideration, this attention paid to popular practice introduces a handing-over concerning imposed codes and cultural values. In response to a request and on calling for the participation of the users, the «Houses of the Ordinary and the Fancy» allows each one another to think ones environment through poetical actions. This proposition is a modality of reflection coupled with practice, allowing to find with the inhabitants the means of a lively and significant adventure in re-evaluating spaces of collective life. The project develops a link between referential art and an eccentric popular art in using multidisciplinary dimensions as essential to establish progressively a «family art», redefining audaciously collective spaces as places of fulfillment.
For example «Hyper-Grafted Furniture» project where mothers in a community center decide to create a garden on the flat roof of the center (200m2). The idea being that besides the need for organic plants in the city, they wish to teach their children how life springs up and of course how to face the circumstances, advantages and disadvantages (wind, rain, accidents, choice…). So together we developed what would be adequate for this learning process; the mothers need a place to talk, encourage their children to smell the fragrance of different species and describe them ! “ Sometimes the wind is strong, other times sunshine is needed so it is decided to make an open garden shack on wheels to be closer to this or to that vegetable plant while drinking a cup of tea. A month later another podium on wheels, this time a small picture library for the children that can be brought nearby for baby-sitting “. One idea brings to another, in the process of being closest to the project’s functionality and its poetical intents.