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Sharpstown House Will Be Turned Upside Down


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http://www.nytimes.com/2010/10/07/garden/07qna.html?_r=1

"Sometime later this month, Mary Ellen Carroll, a conceptual artist who has been lecturing for the last few years at Rice University’s school of architecture, will oversee the 180-degree rotation of a small one-story house in the Houston suburb of Sharpstown, a once-prosperous postwar planned community that has suffered economic reversals. The project, “prototype 180,” will be streamed live on the Web."

Sounds like one if the dozens of upside down houses that pop up in postcards and "Weird (insert state here)" books. Should be good for pictures, though.

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Upside-down would be interesting. But i don't see upside-down mentioned in the article.. I think she's turning it 180 at the Z axis... Front to back and back to front.

Not much bang for your buck if you ask me... especially 300k bucks.

I hope she turns it upside down, instead of just backwards. Backwards would be kind of pointless. Heck, if you turned half the buildings in Sugar Land around front-to-back they'd look like normal houses with the garage in the back and the grand entrance in the front where it belongs.

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I just looked at the article closer, and you're right -- this is lame.

But then to actually do it and have that gesture of the shift from the front to the back be the visual cue and physical cue in terms of generating a series of questions that one may have, which could evolve or not to the asking of how and why things are done in the way in which they are — and that everything in the building is going to be reconsidered.

Seriously? This is what Mary Ellen Carroll considers groundbreaking art making a statement? Weak.

Her Wikipedia entry looks like a cut-and-paste of a bad resume re-write for an gallery bio page. Note that it doesn't say where she's originally from. I'm going to guess it's someplace small and boring if she impresses herself with turning houses around.

This is more like the sort of stuff I thought it would be:

http://xenophilius.wordpress.com/2008/09/18/upside-down-house-turns-heads/

upside-down-house-11.jpg

upside-down-house-71.jpg

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Why in sharpstown? Ain't that a bad part of town?

I wonder why the Times article calls Sharpstown a "suburb" of Houston. Did the artist tell the reporter that, or did the artist misunderstand? The Times has reporters who live in Houston, but I guess this was an outsider who wrote the article.

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Here is the Chronicle article from last month - it kind of mentions it, but I think the "suburb" term is relating to its history in Houston:

For Carroll, the work is a commentary on the freedoms and limitations of Houston's "wildcatting mentality" in urban planning, a rethinking of domestic architecture. Built in the 1950s as an early Houston suburb, Sharpstown now is near the city's geographic heart. Innovative, then faded, then revived, the neighborhood now is an ethnically diverse prototype for what the city will become, Carroll said.

"There's a Sharpstown in every major metro area," she said. "What's happening in Sharpstown is happening everywhere."

http://www.chron.com/disp/story.mpl/metropolitan/7213585.html

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Why in sharpstown? Ain't that a bad part of town?

This is why I've stopped cross-posting from my blog to HAIF. HAIFers are better educated than the posters on most other forums. But they still think Sharpstown is a ghetto that doesn't deserve anything good.

In fact, Mary Ellen Carroll had very specific reasons for choosing Sharpstown: she noticed that "Sharpstown is an ethnically diverse prototype for what [Houston] will become." As SevFiv pointed out, "There's a Sharpstown in every major metro area," she said. "What's happening in Sharpstown is happening everywhere."

This is why I live near Sharpstown. There's an energy around here that I'd imagine is what it was like in New York 100 years ago. All these different people moving in; moving out; assimilating; inventing..... It's only a "bad part of town," if your the kind of person who's scared of it.

I think Carroll's idea for flipping the house is cool as hell, too. The Heights has the Beer Can House. Now Sharpstown is going to have the Backwards House.

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  • 2 weeks later...

I think it's awesome she chose Houston. She could have chose any "suburb" of Houston. The nieghorhood isn't that bad. It was, however, the only part of Southwest Houston I looked at when searching for a house. Can't wait to see the when the house is complete. But, there was a "backwards" house in Eastwood.

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  • The title was changed to Sharpstown House Will Be Turned Upside Down

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