Given and Taken: The Hole in the House and the Museum Piece

Demo artist Dan Havel sends in positive and negative preview photos of Give & Take, a sculpture he and partner Dean Ruck carved and carefully extracted from a dilapidated bungalow on West Cottage St. in East Norhill. The 30-foot-long egg-shaped piece they removed will be on display as part of a group show at the Contemporary Arts Museum featuring Houston-related work by various Houston artists. The exhibit, called No Zoning, opens this Friday.

So what’s the take?


Or is that the give?

Photos: Chuy Benitez (house); Havel and Ruck Projects (CAMH installation)

12 Comment

  • is ugly the new beautiful?

    Interesting idea, but weird.

  • Although weird, there art has a fun element that you just don’t expect.

    The Inversion House on Montrose was the first of there projects I’ve had an encounter with. Since the building was slated to be demolished anyway, why not make it a fun piece of art first. Being on Montrose, it was highly visible for a while until the building was ultimately demolished.

    This current piece looks just plain cool. It’s kind of like taking a slice out of a building (which would have been much easier), but they went for the gusto with an ellipsoid shape (egg). Notice how they have a small section of the roof hoovering above?

  • Needless to say, Historic Houston thinks this is way cool! While the house looked marginally ok from the outside the interior was so severely deteriorated from water damage from roof leaks throughout the house that went unrepaired for many years-demolition was the only solution. Historic Houston certainly applauds this exhibit of creative “reuse”.

    Plans are in place for Historic Houston to reclaim what can be reclaimed from the original structure once the exhibit is closed. Great job Dan and Dean!!

  • What’s left of the house (the negative) is completely transformed and looks like a surprisingly elegant space that (to me) refers to the pantheon. Their method is similar to Gordon Matta-Clark’s, but the result seems more consciously architectural (an attempt to create a new space) rather than Matta-Clark’s analytical pieces (which are more about revealing truths hidden within prosaic objects).

  • On a side note, it looks like a good chunk of the load bearing partitions were removed, not to mention the gap in the roof line. I wonder how safe the house is now? Anyone know if it’s open to the public?

  • I actually like how the inside of the house looks more than I like the “exhibit”/cut out part more. That’s just me though…or maybe the style of the photo taken…

  • AIA Houston named Havel and Ruck the 2008 Artists of the Year. An exhibit of their work, Architectural Euthanasia, is currently on display at ARCH, but only until May 8. It’s great stuff, hurry and check it out.

  • Some of you find this creepy? Of course- This is architecture’s version of that German guy’s “Body Worlds” – remember the plastinated people?

  • They are neo-deconstructivists.

  • That volume in the old house is the best capital “A” architecture in Houston in years.

  • My friend is a neighbor of this guy. The house is severely unstable and actually condemned. It has posts on the outside holding it up. It is also full of asbestos and not to mention animal feces. It is an interesting piece of art, but with all disregard for public safety. I do love the elliptical shape!

  • I’ve been inside. The house is not full of asbestos and animal feces. In fact, it’s kinda empty.