In her aptly titled body of work, Destroyed House, Dutch artist MarjanTeeuwen reclaims the wreckage of abandoned buildings assembling each fragment in painstakingly detailed installations, set within the original structures. These temporary living artworks are present for their surrounding community to experience, but they ultimately exist only through the carefully composed photographs which Teeuwen captures for posterity with her large-format camera. Her images illuminate the precarious balance of the power of destruction with the constructive implications of order and function. Her first solo show with Bruce Silverstein Gallery was held in early 2018. To date, Teeuwen has completed nine installations in her Destroyed House series, with the most recent Destroyed House Kyoto opening in Japan in September 2020.
Teeuwen explores themes related to architecture, reconstruction, loss, and memory through performance, painting, installation, and the photographic medium. In 2008, Teeuwen began seeking out buildings in her native Holland that were slated to be demolished. She breaks down the homes, and then reconstructs the inside into architectural sculptures using the fragments of debris from the walls, floors, ceilings within the building's dilapidated structure. Teeuwen revitalizes these spaces by creating near monochromatic sculptural installations; turning chaos into order. The newly constructed installations echo their original forms, with hints of floor, window, doorway, but are wholly transformed into carefully conceived environments. These spaces exist independently from their previous incarnations, yet they occupy the same physical location. In 2016, Teeuwen visited Gaza, and created Destroyed House Gaza in a home that had been bombed. Her process of rebuilding took on a deeper gravitas when responding to a territory defined by such a horrific conflict.
Born in 1953 in Venlo, Holland, Teeuwen now lives and works in Amsterdam. She attended the Academy of Fine Arts in Tilburg, followed by Academy of Fine Arts and Design St. Joost in Breda. In 2014 Teeuwen participated in a residency in Johannesburg, South Africa. Her work has been exhibited widely in institutions and is held in numerous private and public collections including ARCAM, Amsterdam; Museum De Lakenhal, Leiden; Nederlands Fotomuseum, Rotterdam; Museum Van Bommel Van Dam, Venlo; Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam; Centraal Museum, Utrecht; and the Cisneros Fontanals Art Foundation, Miami.