coulor, PAL, miniDV, 22:22, 2003.
The camera panes over all the walls in the house from the right to the left starting at the main door through all the rooms and ending full circle at the door again. The text appears every few minutes recounting the sequence of events, which started with renovating the bathroom. The work came out from my leaving and coming back to my parents house in which I lived 24 years, from my home-sickness and thinking what is that I am longing for. Is it home the way that we mark the place, how we arrange the furniture, adaptation of house, or the people that are living there, is it the feeling of pleasure or idea or it is just the place.
Story from the video:
Up until 1993 my parent’s house was about 70 square meters big. Every year we rearranged something in the house. One year we moved the door one meter to the left because the wardrobe was ugly so we wanted to put it on the wall behind the door so that it couldn’t be seen from the entrance.
In 1993 we began renovating the bathroom because it was leaking or something, it was old and had white tiles with dark brown flowers. As the bathroom was in the middle of the house we first had to build a new one to be able to tear down the old one.
Before we began building Dad made a plan which Mum, my sister and I studied carefully for days before agreeing to it. After the builders arrived and dug up the foundations and poured in the concrete, Mother decided that the bathroom was too small after all and that it had to be bigger. So the builders came again the next day and dug up some more foundations.
As we were building an extension anyhow, we decided that a room for me would also be handy and most necessary. The room spans the length of the extension, it has windows facing east, two to the east and three to the west. The room was meant to be a studio space for me which meant I needed water, so as the water pipes had already been connected, we thought we might as well build another bathroom. The tiling for the bathroom was done by Joca. the handy man, the handyman. The tiles were two sizes and 7 colours so I had to make an accurate plan for Joca to follow.
He arranged the tiles in the other bathroom , the one it all started with. Mum and I bought those in Sesvete after days of searching for ones that would go with the blue bathtub. After they were up I had to paint the tile adhesive on the floor blue because they were dirty or something. Later we painted the window frames blue too, Dad didn’t like it at all, and in the end Mum wanted us to paint the glass blue, so I drew some waves for her, and then she wanted a duck…
As we had decided to build a new bathroom Mum decided that we might as well build a new pantry, so the space of the former pantry became the kitchen, and the new pantry was added on from the outside. Building a new pantry caused the addition of a sewing room and a small room for the gas boiler, the vacuum cleaner, the broom, etc.
On the border of the former pantry we built a breakfast counter, so that the kitchen is in fact small which means we got a large open dining area after taking down the only supporting wall which used to divide the space into a hall and a kitchen, a hall which was no longer of any use so instead we put up a beam and a support pillar. The kind of space my Mother had always dreamt of – cold, with a big oval oak table and salmon pink tiles .
But before the pink tiles and three demolitions later it had three types of flooring: dark brown tiles from the bathroom floor, parquet from the hall and lino from the kitchen, after removing all these we walked on concrete for a while, and then we found some carpeting because the concrete was cold, and it was dusty and the grit was scratching the wooden floors in the rooms. Some time later, Dad bought very expensive pink tiles which Mum liked very much and which Joca the handyman put down. He said they were very good tiles, and that a truck could drive over them, but the tiling was a complicated job because it turned out that the heights of the rooms connected to the kitchen were all different.
I don’t know at what point we started putting up plaster boards on the inside, I think that began with the kitchen which was covered in wooden paneling which when we removed it, the walls were ugly, so we put up plaster boards in all the rooms apart from in mine and my sister’s rooms, hers didn’t suffer any changes throughout all these adaptations.
My sister decided to get married and they went to live in his parent’s house for a while, but not long after they moved in with us so I gave them my bedroom, the big one with the bathroom and went back to my old room which had served as a storage space for two years.
They lived in my room for a bit over two years during which we finally finished building and they got one child while another was on its way, then they decided to build their own house on top of ours, to make another floor and a roof. Then for a while we lived with 60 iron pillars placed around the whole house at regular intervals every meter and a half, they were meant to allow our wooden house to be engulfed in a layer of concrete. During the building works we experienced a terrible storm which tore off the boards from the roof which then flew all around our neighbours’ roofs and onto the nearby church, because the builders didn’t count on a wind like that so the water got in between the walls which resulted in a meter wide stream of water pouring down the kitchen wall, and all the dishes in the house were arranged around the house in an attempt to catch some of the water leaking all over the place. The last thing we did is extend the patio for a meter and put outdoor tiles on it. After all the building was finished and after my sister moved out of my big room I also decided to move and I now rent a flat in Dordiceva 17.