The House of Khronos ( 2016/2017–)

Site specific long duration environmental artwork, Finland
abandoned house and garden, surrounding fence
Lönnström Art Museum Projects #1
IC-98 (Visa Suonpää and Patrik Söderlund)

House of Khronos is a property where time itself dwells. A property is bought, a gateless chain link fence built around the perimeter. After this act, people are forbidden to interact with the house and garden in any way. We can only observe how over hundreds of years the house decays as nature takes over. The property will be protected with various laws so as to detach it from society altogether, the first stage being the application of nature reserve. Theoretically, the final state would be terra nullius, a no man’s land, a status we will be applying, too.

Typically, nature and culture are seen as opposite elements in protection and preservation. When built environment is protected, most of the times it means restoring it to its original form and protecting this state of affairs. When a natural landscape is preserved, there is the similar idea of restoring nature to its original, pristine state. In both cases, an assumption of an epoch is made – epoch meaning a fixed point in time (gr. epokhe), history then becoming a series of standstill moments. House of Khronos aims to make visible the continuous flux of time, where nature and culture are completely intertwined.

The work has three levels: museological, political and ecological. On museological level, the interest is abstract and institutional: is it possible to establish a Museum of Time itself as opposed to Museum of Epochs. Politically we are dealing with the questions of territory and sovereignty, private and public ownership of spaces. On ecological level what is at stake is the exploitation of natural resources particularly and understanding of deep natural time generally.

Status of the project: ongoing (seeking the property during 2016, implementing the plan in 2017).

Artist bio

Collecting Europe, Victoria and Albert Museum, London