Rooms of Reality

c-print, Diasec
37 x 25 cm, 2012


This project started with some research work about movies playing in Prague. Right at the beginning i came across the movie The student from Prague (1926), a german silent horror movie by actor and filmmaker Henrik Galeen. It is a remake of The Student of Prague from 1913, written by Alfred de Musset, Hanns Heinz Ewers, Edgar Allan Poe, and directed by Stellan Rye and Paul Wegener. The film deals about a young student who sold himself to the devil, and one day his reflection stepped out of the mirror. One significant scene shows the main character, a student, in his apartment. The living circumstances of this student sparked a thought – to investigate the current rental situation in Prague. I started looking for furnished apartments on the most used real-estate website in Prague:, visualising to move there. My next step was to take one sentence from Heideggers lecture Building Dwelling Thinking from 1951 literally. “It seems that we reach dwelling only through building. Building has the dwelling as intention.”
This led to building scale models of the rooms I found on To build was the approach, the appropriation to the apartments.
In an ethymological-like excursion, Heidegger brings to mind that to build in itself means already to dwell, to stay. Heidegger locates, he remembers the derivation, the forgotten elements of the language. Dwelling means thereby no longer to only have an apartment, a roof over one’s head. And therefor “building” is not simply a means to an end, to dwell. To build means also to nourish, to look after, to protect, e.g. to cultivate a field. in German only one word exists for these different terms “to build” and “to cultivate” in English? This emphasises that the relict of our language shows still traces of lost meanings.
If we indeed build not only “to dwell”, than a building, a structure is no longer simply an object of utility, but much, much more. As the name already implies, it is work, a work of art.