Szczesny conceived the idea in 2009 while wandering around Warsaw’s Wola district, inspired in part by the pithy, one-page stories of the Israeli writer. After a series of setbacks — determining who owned the in-between site, and finding a steel manufacturer to take on the small but complicated job, both proved challenging — the house was constructed as a light steel frame made of small modules that screw together, which connects to street level through a staircase. Its 195 square feet of space fit in a kitchen, dining space, bathroom, bedroom, and living room. A semitransparent plastic roof, chosen instead of the more usual concrete, provides the residence with natural sunlight and mediates between interior and exterior space. Too small to be a residence according to Polish law, the Keret House has been classified as an art installation and given to the Foundation of Polish Art. Szczesny and Keret sit as chairs of a board that has selected artists under 35 for residencies at the House since the program’s inception last year.
Residency at the Keret House lasts up to 21 days, during which the lucky artist lives and works in the Warsaw site. In exchange for airfare, accommodation in the Keret House, and studio space, the artist must realize an original project that is “dedicated to Warsaw,” as per the House website. The residency program seeks to explore voids in art and architecture, and so the opportunities the tiny Keret House offers young artists are anything but small.
- Anna Kats
Image courtesy of the Keret House.