Mike Bouchet


I was originally interested in how a house could be a culturally unsettling object. Houses of this type touch a nerve. They engage a tremendous fantasy regarding shelter, and they are also anathema to architects. My idea had nothing to do with the sub-prime mortgage crisis in the U.S.

Between the mix of architectural references and plastic materials, I find these houses almost psychedelic. It's worth noting that millions of people worldwide live in these glorified film sets. After the house sank (it was officially designated a shipwreck by the Italian Navy), I had planned to restore it to its original, sparkling-new state. When it was lifted from the water, I decided to leave it exactly as it is. I like the slightly off-kilter column, ripped vinyl siding, and missing back porch. It is a sculpture, and, as with much of my work, how it looks is the result of a process. In this case, sinking into the sea. My original idea had to do with making Venice "dirty" with a brand-new suburban home, but the home itself was "dirtied" by Venice. I like that it looks like everything else there—a bit water-damaged, slightly askew, and sitting on the sea.