Marjan Teeuwen’s Destroyed House series explores themes related to architecture, reconstruction, loss, and memory through the mediums of sculpture, performance, installation, and photography. Each project is a massive undertaking, and begins with the demolition of a found abandoned building. The artist then, in an organic process, reconstructs the space by using the buildings’ own debris to create an installation composed of architectural and sculptural forms. The installation is open to the public for a short period of time, photographed, and then ultimately demolished. The only surviving part of the project is the image.
In the summer of 2019 Teeuwen was invited to participate in Les Rencontres de la Photographie in Arles, France, and created Destroyed House Arles. This work was comprised of two rooms: one circular and white with a distinct chapel feeling, and the other made of darker wood materials and square. The entire installation featured a false ceiling, which allowed for a glow of natural sunlight to be let in.
The artist's most recent project is in Kyoto, Japan, and is currently open to the public in a limited capacity as part of Kytographie the international photography festival. The ninth work in the artist's Destroyed House series, Destroyed House Kyoto is built in two traditional machiya houses. By tearing down and rebuilding a series of tatami rooms, Teeuwen sought to organize chaos, and create beauty from destruction, which is perfectly matched with the Japanese aesthetic of Wabi-sabi. The artist also drew inspiration from Ihyou, a powerful concept in contemporary Japanese architecture, which is something unexpected that sparks curiosity. Ever present in the installation, and each resultant picture, is this idea, as well as the reminder of impermanence.
Born in 1953 in Venlo, Holland, Teeuwen now lives and works in Amsterdam. She attended the Academy of Fine Arts in Tilburg, followed by Academy of Fine Arts and Design St. Joost in Breda. In 2014 Teeuwen participated in a residency in Johannesburg, South Africa. Her work has been exhibited widely in institutions and is held in numerous private and public collections including ARCAM, Amsterdam; Museum De Lakenhal, Leiden; Nederlands Fotomuseum, Rotterdam; Museum Van Bommel Van Dam, Venlo; Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam; Centraal Museum, Utrecht; and the Cisneros Fontanals Art Foundation, Miami.