The installation ‘Le Plus Habité’ questions and transfigures the contemporary system of the living room. Le Plus Habité is a term coined by architect Augustin-Charles d’Aviler in the 17th century to describe rooms that were meant to be the most lived in, to differentiate them from display rooms. In this piece, the term gains a new meaning, as the viewers are pushed to question the purpose of the space and its livability.
The scale, names, and utility of the domestic space have routinely transformed to reflect human needs and desires. The living room has been used as a display of status, a space to entertain visitors, and at times was used for the temporary keeping of the dead. This space has been re-imagined by humanity as a place of entertainment and peace, currently known as “the living room.” In turn, the living room is a constantly updating mirror to the way we control our environment.
In ‘Le Plus Habité’, the room is filled with possessions and clutter, blended with organic matter. It is devoid of concrete human presence. Through the installation, Brandon Latcham and Shira Yavor explore the relationship between a man-made living environment and nature, and aim to blur the lines between human and non-human environments. A stop-motion film, created in collaboration with Rashmi Baird, echoes this concept, and acts as a dream seeking to bridge the gap between the domestic and organic environments, harmoniously. The work is inspired by nature, specifically animal behaviours related to self-made habitats from found objects and materials.
This project is a part of the King East Design District (KEDD), a hub for design, art and culture in the heart of Old Town Toronto.