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Our House, Yesterday and Today – Arpad Zachi

The house (the home, the shelter, the flat and the nest, the lair, the kennel, the den) is essentially a

ANDREI TARKOVSKY, Nostalghia, 1983

The house (the home, the shelter, the flat and the nest, the lair, the kennel, the den) is essentially a «cave»; a personal (familial) cave that can be perceived, understood, questioned and interpreted along this line (i.e. the myth of Plato’s Cave). Such a perspective is also approached in the current thematic issue of the magazine.


In the space of this «cave», the first projections are produced and supported by our parents: complex spatial, visual, tactile, auditory and olfactory – in one word, sensitive projections. They represent the first type of mediation with the image of the outer world, but perhaps also the first constitutive elements (besides those that are genetically inherited) of our future inner guiding lines in the context of an apparently external reality. Thus, our parents are the first philosophers and architects of the image of the world outside the cave.


Over time, the space of the cave has been filled with / crowded by more and more objects (tools, furniture, equipment etc.) that were imposed as an answer to the question of meeting our parents’ needs/necessities/aspirations in matters of comfort. These objects function as (indirect and less powerful) messengers / projections / interfaces of the multiple realities beyond the space of the cave and beyond the current familiar projections. However, they are filtered by our parents’ needs – either real or imagined / imaginary.


Dramatic changes have put their mark on the last decades; dramatic because of the quantity, proportions and the speed at which they flood not only our physical space but the sensitive one as well (increasingly complex and more sophisticated new interfaces, communication and projection devices). In such a «flood» of apparent realities, it is nearly impossible not only to select the necessary, useful or desirable interfaces/ projections, but neither do we have the physical time nor the minimum discernment to identify and think about our actual needs and aspirations.


Under these circumstances, what could nowadays be the role of our cave? Is anything left of it? Does Plato’s allegory still bear any meaning? What could that meaning be?

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