Wednesday, April 21, 2010

improvised architecture in amsterdam:industrial squats and collectives































here, finally, is the continuation of this post from last week.  i am utterly infatuated with these images. and i've been trying to sit down and write something intellectual about them but it's made me feel like i am back in college writing a paper.  so i'll just ramble on as is my habit and hopefully convey just a bit of the fascination i have here.

so, a few months ago i stumbled on this website of work by david carr smith.  he'd photo-documented and written about the squats and collectives he'd found in amsterdam.  some still exist today i believe, but some don't.  you should have seem me that day.  it was like i'd stumbled upon some kind of personal nirvana. 

it must first be said- the bottom line reason why i love these pictures is because i admire these folks' aesthetics.  not too intellectual or political.  i share the creative interest of using already exisiting spaces and objects; ones with character and personality.  if there was a book titled "pictures exactly for liane of interior spaces exactly as she likes" it would include all these images.

but the underlying reason why i am so taken is because of how and where they have set up their homes.  these spaces were abandoned industrial buildings.  squatting represents a financial and creative freedom to me.  both in the idea that you have this run-down industrial space to transform into personal living space and that you are allowing yourself to not be beholden to a mortgage.  being a creative person has not meshed, for me, with the way of the world.  i've never lasted long in a 9-5 job.  i've always felt a little oddball this way. and the truth is i spent many years feeling guilty about this.  i don't want to give up or deny my creative desires.  i want to organize my life around them, not push them aside to live as i think others expect. 

so, i'm not going to go on and on here.  and i'm not going to go back and reread what i've written and fret about it not being deep enough.  i do hope, if any of this resonates with you that you will leave a comment because i would love to have a larger discussion about this.  also, there are so so many images on david's site as well as text, explanation, philosophy...so go on over and look around. 

12 comments:

Posy Moe said...

Not long ago I read a book called Renaissance Soul http://tinyurl.com/2bmjnqp which spoke of people who need the freedom to be free-flowing creatives without having to live according the rules imposed by others. I was nodding with every page, because I so identified with everything I was reading. The idea of squatting and carving out a little space and having that freedom...well, it spoke volumes to me too, my friend.

greenemama said...

i love these pics so much. feels so at home. great post, thanks.

broadcast.poulet said...

liane,
thanks for sharing david's site and images. this definitely resonates with me, the style of the spaces are right up my alley. i love the industrial remains and the idea of using an abandoned industrial space as a home or studio.
i have often felt lost in trying to find the words to describe thoughts, as there really are so many constraints imposed by others. however, i think it's amazing that you've cast aside your inhibitions to write a post that is true to your own self. that's so much more important (and appreciated by all i'm sure!) than struggling to find something that is traditionally deemed an "intelligent analysis", etc etc. you have such personality in your words!
thanks again for sharing.

Elizabiscuit said...

beautiful

suzy smalls said...

well, i think these photos are amazing. and i think what you wrote is great & i can completely identify with it. so, there!

sevenpoppies said...

oh man. these are really beautiful. G and i joke about become squatters "out-somewhere" ahhh, but to have that actually be a real possibility! I know what you mean about the book thing. I think you, me and R should compile an interior and design book of our own! Of course, I think you could do it on your own, but then we could all have bake-togethers and those kinds of things.
whoa. I'll be checking out that site.

viki said...

I love the look of those places,and the creativity, and the passion you feel for them. My brother lived in one and was arrested and deported at Christmas time. Just a reminder, the other side of squatting.

littlebyrd said...

These are unbelivable! I need to spend some good time looking at all the details....

Jane Flanagan said...

I love this post. There's so much to think about here. I've always felt split between a more avant garde and more conventional version of myself. At different times one side has dominated and the other has struggled. I've yet to find that balance. I love that there are people out there who have and who aren't settling or being forced to conform.

BananaSaurusRex said...

That bit about wanting to organize your life around your creative desires, not push them aside to live as others might expect - just knocked me down. I may not get up. Try not to run over me on your new bike.

Mandy said...

I love every room !!! just perfect and homely ....so livable, and by the way your writing is wonderful !!!

MALVINI FF said...

very inspirational!
thanks

veronique