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Huguenot House Analysis

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12 Ballads for Huguenot House is created by Theaster Gates for dOCUMENTA (13) in 2012. The main architectural structure is a dilapidated historic building in Kassel, Germany called Huguenot House, which is abandoned in the 1970s. What Gates tried to achieve during the restoration of the Huguenot House was the “reactivation” and “employment” of the building (Gates, 10). Gates bought a demolished building on South side of Chicago in the neighborhood where he was born and raised. Gates is carefully concerned about the economic, cultural, social and even human issues mending within his life. Gates’s team deconstructed raw materials from this building, which become a part of restoration work for the Huguenot House. The aim of the Huguenot House…show more content…
These musicians play Blues in the spirit of Gospel rooted in Black Church. Music, dance and congregation happened everyday in the 100 days’ dOCUMENTA. “12 Ballads for Huguenot House is about how buildings live and what they do, about creative labor, about the creation of new temporary economies, and platforms for engagement” said Gates (Gates, 127). Gates gave the Huguenot House a second life and inserted those old memories into the new platform, which meant it soon turned into a cultural and spiritual place. Gates transported those raw materials to Germany from the house in South side of Chicago and later Gates hired a local construction team to repurpose them as functional objects and ecstatic artwork. Besides the material outcome of the project, it is the cultural, bureaucratic, and political conversations around the marginally employed and marginalized artists that stand at the core of Gate’s practice (Gates, 43). Gates brought up the conversation between Kassel and Chicago from the original Huguenot House and materials from the building. Refurbished objects are echoing with the Huguenot
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