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  • Stephen Prina

As He Remembered It, Living Room Category Harris, Living Room, (Den), No. 1 Harris, Living Room, (Den), No. 2 Hiler, Living Room, (Den), No. 3

2011
Acrylic lacquer on polyurethane varnish on poplar plywood, linen and metal
61.02 inch x 234.25 inch x 65.35 inch
erworben/acquired in 2016
Inventory number: P 704/0

Stephen Prina saw a piece of furniture by Austrian architect Rudolph Schindler in a shop window in Los Angeles by chance. This encounter was the starting point for the work “As he remembered it.” It was a piece of built-in furniture (as was usual for Schindler) and thus fitted with the architecture of the room perfectly. It had been modified for sale as a separate piece and had thus been torn from its context. “At the time it was almost painful to see the piece,” Prina recounts, “it was as if a part of your body had been cut off.” He noted that it was a kind of reversed phantom pain in which the separated piece of furniture reminded the viewer, in an unpleasant way, of the lost body, the house. “I recently described it to a friend and he compared it to the phantom pain of an amputated limb (...) It was only later that I realized that it was not really like that. It’s much more that it is a phantom body that’s missing and it’s the limb that’s there.”

Prina had 28 pieces of built-in furniture from Schindler’s houses copied from plans. Schindler considered that architectural plans were only suggestions. Their execution was to be determined by, and during, the process of building itself. This processual method, determined by the decisions, by external circumstances and coincidences, led Schindler toward a realization. By adopting a similar procedure, Prina was criticizing the preconditions of conceptual art which attempts to ignore individual experience and temporary states. For example, Prina clearly anchored “As he remembered it” in the year it was produced by painting it in the color of the year: “Pantone Honeysuckle: Color of the Year 2011”.