A collective investigates contemporary forms of housing

I'd Rather Be Outside


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3D printed concrete elements appear at the Museumplein to form a landscape of outdoor rooms. With their installation I’d Rather Be Outside the art collective åyr engages simultaneously with the promises of the construction industry and the conflicts of contemporary housing. åyr collaborated with graphic designer Fabian Harb to develop a printable font and commissioned the New York based curator Harry Burke to select excerpts from poems by Joan Larkin, Mei-mei Berssenbrugge, Carry van Bruggen, Sophie Collins and Bhanu Kapil. åyr has also invited Martha Rosler to exhibit the work ‘Housing Is a Human Right’, a billboard animation first installed in Times Square in 1989, commenting on the steep rise of homelessness in the United States. 

åyr was founded in London in 2014 on the occasion of their exhibition AIRBNB Pavilion. In their work they investigate evolution of ownership, privacy and sharing in the domestic space – they have exhibited inside houses rented on online sharing platforms and used beds as public furniture. This new work on Museumplein was commissioned by Holland Festival and Stedelijk Museum.

Poems incorporated in the installation

At five o’clock, rain done with, in darkness 
the houses gather. 
– Joan Larkin. “Housework.” Housework. Out & Out Books, 1975, pp. 18-19

When rain falls on the rubbish 
of broken huts and the air was 
dead language.
– Joan Larkin. “The Bombed Villages.” Housework. Out & Out Books, 1975, pp. 71-72

House is the projection, space around it intermediary, theater.
– Mei-mei Berssenbrugge. “Permanent Home.” Nest. Kelsey Street Press, 2003, pp. 11-15

It still lights apricots in bloom, leaves, skins of organisms, horizon, borders that represent places.
– Mei-mei Berssenbrugge. “Nest.” Nest. Kelsey Street Press, 2003, pp. 45-49

De fabriekspoort stond open, een zwart pad van modder en sintels voerde binnen in.
– Carry van Bruggen. Heleen: een vroege winter. Maatschappij voor Goede en Goedkoope Lectuur, 1913, p. 64

this is the strange girl with the strange dress from the strange house
– Carry van Bruggen, translated by Sophie Collins. Maatschappij voor Goede en Goedkoope Lectuur, 1913, p. 58

To be: “banned from the city” and thus: en banlieues: a part of the perimeter.
– Bhanu Kapil. Ban en Banlieue. Nightboat Books, 2015, p. 41


Background information

Since 2015, Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam and Holland Festival have been commissioning an artist each year to create a free work of art at Amsterdam's Museumplein. In 2015 they commissioned British artist Liam Gillick to make his largest piece of work to date, the 

installation All-Imitate-Act, and last year the Thai artist Rirkrit Tiravanija presented Tomorrow is the Question. This year London based collective åyr come to Amsterdam. Co-commissioned by the Holland Festival and the Stedelijk Museum, I’d Rather Be Outside will consist of a series of full-scale, 3d printed, domestic rooms. The work tackles questions related to the global housing crisis, mass production and the relationship between publicness and individuality.

åyr, the collective formerly known as AIRBNB Pavilion, is an art collective based in London, active since 2014, whose work focuses on contemporary forms of domesticity. Founded by Fabrizio Ballabio, Alessandro Bava, Luis Ortega Govela and Octave Perrault, the collective was first formed on the occasion of an exhibition during the opening days of the XIV Architecture Biennale in Venice, which took place in apartments rented on Airbnb. The pavilion was an installation in apartments rented online, exhibiting the work of 25 architects and 25 artists. 

Fabrizio Ballabio says in frieze magazine: ‘In airbnb, we found a paradigm of how the sharing economy of the internet had a tangible spatial impact. The exhibition was an independent project. It changed its name to åyr in 2015 following legal pressure. åyr tackles the evolution of the contemporary home and its transformations from the fortress of the family to a commodity traded online with performances, site-specific installations, events and writing. Its work focuses on the relationship between objects and their environments, and the effects of the internet on the city. Alessandro Bava: ’A home is no longer solely something that holds your feelings of family, community and security, but becomes a player in the field of global financial speculation.’ Recent exhibitions include the 9th Berlin Biennale for Contemporary Art, Home Economics at the 15th Venice Architecture Biennale, Home Visit at Museum Ludwig and Interior Therapy at Queer Thoughts New York.



Joan Larkin, Mei-mei Berssenbrugge, Carry van Bruggen, Sophie Collins, Bhanu Kapil

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