We had the pleasure of meeting artist Fritz Haeg at the Systems of Sustainability Symposium held at the University of Houston. Fritz spoke about his recent work featured at the Whitney Biennial, titled Animal Estates and we were enthralled. It’s slightly tangential to Animal/Architecture, but we figure it certainly in the same vein.
Fritz, in his work with Animal Estates is interested in co-species co-habitation and in this respect is perfectly alligned with our project. For his most recent installation (he’s had several over the last few years in the US and Europe) Fritz built small animal habitats in and around the Whitney Museum in midtown Manhattan to attract / provide respite for other Manhattan animals. His client included: the Bald Eagle, Barn Owl, Wood Duck, Purple Martin, the Eastern Tiger Salamander, and the good old Beaver to name a few, and some of who’s houses you can see in the images below.
The most interesting part of Fritz’s work for us is not so much the aesthetics of the project but that he always includes humans into his projects. His installations continually remind us that we are always living among others (though we may not see them all that often) and that yes, we too are animals.
Which animals actually showed up to Fritz’s installation? Well, he wouldn’t say exactly but we think they were mostly the Frilly Upper East-sider and the Common Mid-American Tourister.