An ancient German word for the monk’s cell is GEHÄUSE. Not Haus, an ordinary noun, but Gehäuse, a collective noun that outlines the concept of a house, but broken down into multiples. A Gehäuse sometimes refers to a house including all its inhabitants and belongings — all the human and nonhuman clutter — but more often it is used to describe a house within a house, individual but dependant, one cell of a bigger organism. A monk’s cell within the monastery, for example, the ideal place for study and thought.

For one month ACRE studios became my GEHÄUSE. Starting with the idea of a lecture performance that would be delivered as a libidinal address (in theory) to the audience, putting them in the awkward position of being the addressee of someone’s creative endeavour, trying not to loose it, keeping all tabs open on what I was reading (Deleuze, Lacan, Kristeva, Bernhard, Sartre), embarking on a  pilgrimage to the Isenheimer Altar in Colmar, while living, loving, thinking … the space was the one place where I could tie everything together and write. 

Gehäuse. The prefix Ge- does not only characterise collective nouns, it is also used to denote entities that were produced. A noun, yes, but one that is nostalgic of a verb: Ge-danke, Ge-sang, Ge-wölle. The productive meaning of this prefix always covibrates when the noun Gehäuse is used to label the phantasy of undisturbed study and thought. This is not only a place for production, a Gehäuse is itself a product of the mind. The nostalgia of the noun prevents it from solidifying into an architecture that can be taken for granted. It retains a certain fragility, as if it had to be continually renewed. 

This becomes even clearer, when we consider another meaning of the word Gehäuse: the protective shell of a snail. A refuge, yes, but one produced by the organism that inhabits it. A cell made of ones own cells that needs to be carried and maintained. A refuge that is a burden, too. This product of thought which becomes the condition for thought is a conundrum, yes, but the complex intertwining of inside and outside that is creation, this withdrawing inside yourself by reaching out to the other, might not be built other than in paradoxical form.