-To rehearse the archives of E1027 and Villa Müller

By Emelie Carlén

This exposition uncovers the thought process behind and around two artworks of mine, Haunted Houses (2021, 13.00 min) and Cold Readings (2020). Both of these are visible at the end of the exposition. The exposition takes the form of an archive, providing a maze of index cards that contain different parts of my process and research. The project Haunted Houses is a video about architect Eileen Gray's house E1027 (built 1926-29) using it as a point of departure from which I try to link the house with the works of architect Adolf Loos. Cold Readings is the photographic outcome of my visit to Adolf Loos' Villa Müller, where the three rolls of negatives I shot all came back blank. Through the production of these works I have been concerned with how narratives about these houses have been constructed and re-told – and how these narratives have changed as they have been 'rehearsed'. I focus my research on these two modernist buildings and the architects behind them, who are not usually put side by side in architectural histories. Both Gray and Loos have, however, been associated with the Swiss architect Le Corbusier, Loos for having being his parallel or counterpart in fame and success, and Gray for her house E1027 having being 'artistically haunted' by the presence of Le Corbusier as a result of a series of murals he painted while a guest there.


I have applied the methodology of rehearsal to my process in order to outline how historical writings and archival research can be used with the aim of finding alternative outcomes to what has already been written and said. The notion of rehearsal I employ here refers to the book Putting Rehearsals to the Test by Sabeth Buchmann, Constanze Ruhm and Ilse Laufer, written in 2016. This book addresses artistic practices concerned with rehearsal, in various forms. The notion of rehearsal is also closely linked to my usage of wider theatrical concepts throughout this exposition, with references to Beatriz Colomina's and Katarina Bonnevier's writings on the theatrical aspects visible in E1027 and Villa Müller specifically. For this reason I use ideas like 'the stage', 'the script' and 'the act' throughout the exposition and the two projects it archives. From a narrative point of view, I use the metaphor of the ghost to find a way to speak of those facts and myths that I have found during my research; positioning them from a fictional point of view. This exposition is not claiming to be architectural history per se, nor does it claim to be a biographical study of either Loos or Gray. Instead it is a work of artistic research that, by using a experimental and performative methodology, aims to lay out an alternative form of how a historical narrative can unfold.


A much-rehearsed script of my own – the voice over to the video Haunted Houses – appears throughout this exposition, in italics between the index cards. Segments from the script link the timeline of the film to the research presented in this exposition.