In 1992, on the occasion of the Olympic Games in Barcelona, Robbrecht en Daem architecten collaborated with Juan Muñoz to create a pavilion titled the House Where It Always Rains. Pavilions are structures where art and architecture come together in the heady pursuit of pure experimentation. Somewhere between a folly and a model, the pavilion is an actual space, constructed so it can be occupied and looked at; but it has no apparent purpose. Robbrecht en Daem’s ‘house’ is entirely open to the elements, exposing Muñoz’s five bronze figures standing inside to the kinetics of the intense Spanish light that pours down through its iron slats. The figures themselves stand on spherical bases, poised to go nowhere inside their pastoral cage. This is a stage set that seduces our gaze; we can occupy the space imaginatively but we cannot actually enter it. Locked outside its diaphanous yet rigid structure, we are poised, like the figures inside, on the threshold of desire.
Text by Iwona Blazwick
Original Publication: Iwona Blazwick, “A Work of Art Enters the Room”, in Robbrecht en Daem, 2G Revista Internacional de Arquitectura 55(III) (2010), p. 16; Other Literature: James Lingwood, Juan Muñoz: Monologues and Dialogues (Madrid, 1996); Juan Muñoz, Arbeiten 1989 bis 1990, exh. cat., Museum Haus Lange (Krefeld, 1991).
City of Barcelona
Robbrecht en Daem architecten
artwork by Juan Muñoz
Juan Muñoz in conversation with Robbrecht en Daem architecten