Kim Bouvy

Deconstruction of a Weavers’ House





These are some images I took last April of an old weavers’ house in the small city of Assendelft in Noord-Holland. The house was in the process of being deconstructed, peeled as an onion, to possibly be reconstructed again at the Zaanse Schans: a peculiar time-capsule, where significant traditional wooden buildings from the area around Zaandam have been relocated to, mostly in the sixties and seventies. This collection of nomadic green wooden houses form a new constellation that has a certain Disney-like feeling about it - although different since many of the houses are inhabited by real people.

I was asked by Michiel van Iersel from Non-Fiction (how appropriate) to document the house in its ‘most original state’ at its plot of land, where a new villa would arise after the house had been deconstructed. While making the photos, construction workers were taking the house apart, bit bit by bit, some pieces were numbered, many pieces were not. The man in charge of the deconstruction, would also be building the new villa. The house would be transported into parts to a storage, where it probably still sits today.

The future will tell if this house will ever be reconstructed and presumably renovated, but to which authentic glory, I asked myself? What will be restored of the entropic but very characterstic state of the building, formed by many layers of use, before it went down? Who will decide how its real and original character will be revived?
I was fascinated by the way the layers and colors of paint had, together with the wooden skeleton of the structure, had a certain formal, abstract quality.