Casa Vilaró lingers in purgatory. It is so certain of its past but knows nothing of its future. In the neighborhood of La Salut in Gràcia, Barcelona, the pioneering 1930 rationalist house by Sixte Illescas awaits judgement. In what feels like an unfulfilling function for a work of such historical significance, the shabby glamour of the rooms, which currently serve as a hotel, feel like they can offer us more. It is within this context that Northern-Irish artist Ben Weir was placed for two weeks in September 2019.
The residency in Casa Vilaró was undertaken by Ben following the invitation by Fundació Mies van der Rohe. It was part of the Creative Europe project Artists in Architecture: Re-Activating Modern European Houses, in partnership with University of Naples Federico II (Naples) and BOZAR (Brussels), which seeks to ‘unlock diverse issues related to the preservation, adaptation and (re)activation of European architectural heritage.’
As part of their Artists in Architecture program, Fundació Mies van der Rohe present an online conversation with Ben Weir in which he takes us on a trajectory of his thinking during the residency, the process as well as the outcomes, the research and production, the successes and failures. He will also use the opportunity to touch on his past works relating to intervention within architectural heritage, and the themes that arise such as value systems, legacy, authorship and collaboration.