Lesson Plan: Modern Art: Outside Art & Jean Dubuffet

Reading 4 - Anarchitect.

Richard Greaves, Anarchitect. Quebec, Canada. (artist and builder of wood structures/houses out of found wood and other found objects, and wood from old houses that would otherwise be destroyed.)

"The most familiar things, the objects on which my eye had often fallen in my life, were now transformed into a magical and infinite fountain, and at the same time a sense of harmony arose in me: I looked at a coffee maker, an old razor, a nicked shovel, or any object that came to hand as if I were seeing it for the first time. Now, by examining the facets of the object, its shape, its way of existing, I entered into a relationship with its existence, its memory, its purposes, and the way it blended with other objects. All these revelations made these objects even more important to me. I perceived that they were like individuals. Many were in good company, while some were in poor surroundings. . . . Did I feel that the objects I was looking at were in harmony with each other? In other words, were they well placed in an intentional or unplanned installation, where I later placed them? I really like old objects eroded by the force of time and inhumane histories. I think of myself as no different: a thing that has been used a lot, that has lived, that has been worn and polished by use and abuse - an intense thing, when I think of all the encounters they have had, all the experiences and all the happy, loving, or hateful encounters. I am a being who has been used, a being transformed, an object that wants to be understood, enlightened, and who likes being used."

"All of this resembles me. If I become bad, it will become bad. If I become better and better, it will become better and better. It's my own story, but I have to share it."

"Everything I make here is so I can sleep better."

" These are buildings that were going to be destroyed. All of this would have been burned or buried. Think of it -- there are things here that are a hundred and fifty years old. All that twine bound for the landfill or the fire. That's why this material lets me go farther in my internal process."

"Sometimes I may stay for days. I sleep here [in my hut]. And no one comes to bother me. When I'm inside, I feel good. Here, I find peace with myself."