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What do artists need to work under good enough conditions? A place where they can develop their work without (too many) strictures? A room of their own? Enric Farrés Duran and Xavier Ristol are projecting their dream studio with features that are both physical and intangible, for the exhibition Shared Studios. Three Case Studies. A specific kind of light, an environment, a mental space where all sorts of random encounters may occur.

© Ariadna Serrahima

I Dream of A Large Studio

From the letters Joan Miró and architect Josep Lluís Sert exchanged over the years, we discovered that Miró ‘dreamt of a large studio,’ and that once his dream studio was finished, the painter got scared.

Using that story as our starting point, we placed the studio at the core of our project, and we started thinking how our dream studio might be. We entrusted the project to an architecture firm. Our chosen architect spoke to us about light, about insulation, about temperature and energy consumption. They started out developing ideas from what we told them, and they made a series of drawings that we are showing here: floor plans, sections and elevations at a scale of 1:50 where one can find all sorts of details, new openings, double spaces, a water leak under control, insulation for the cold, ventilation, air conditioning, ham, and many other things.

Exhibition Shared Studios. Three Case Studies © Fundació Joan Miró. Photo: Oriol Clavera

We felt the need to make a model to study how light might move in our dreams, how it might infuse our work spaces and make it evident that a studio is a space of perpetual change, a space that is transformed by the shadow of a passing cloud, by the longer daylight hours in late spring or by the longer hours of dusk in the winter. And with all that information, we decided to start refurbishing.

The first thing we had made was a prefabricated MDF door. Through this door we can go in, go out, but it can also be closed. It is a two-way spying door since, as we all know, very often the person closest to us is the one we know the least. And if something does not quite suit us, unconsciously we start  reshaping it, distorting our perception around it. That’s what happened when we started believing that that combination of white and blue was from San Sebastián, or that blue and red were the colors of a club from Basel. Tailor-made hallucinations. The studio as a place where things are formed, but also de-formed, studio-mates included. On the other hand, since we were running on a limited budget, we decided to build infinity. Our infinity allows us to isolate any given thing from its context, as in a space of constant transformation that creates images for eternity.

Exhibition Shared Studios. Three Case Studies © Fundació Joan Miró. Photo: Oriol Clavera

But while we tried to figure out the creation of infinity, which did not fit through our door, we decided to invest in a new floor to prevent our feet from getting cold: a nice-looking oak floor. Not too much of it, but good quality. Just the right thing. Finally, we were left with one last question, one last thing to speculate on: what works would we make in our dream studio? And we got scared.

Plaque on Enric Farrés Duran and Xavier Ristol studio, Sala 17 (Eixample, Sabadell)

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