photos by Giovanna Silva
From Patrick Maisano’s diary:
It’s happened at last! I’ve fallen in love again. I spent weeks on Internet without coming across anything that really moved me. Naturally I found tons of photos that were good for a hand job or two. Glossy chicks absolutely positive they’re harbouring the answers to life’s big questions in their silicon boobs. Academic chitchat in sexy evening dresses. Images to masturbate by and forget once you’ve had your emotionless orgasm. And then back to the solitary searching … I’d almost resigned myself to this kind of love-life when I fortunately came across Atelier Bardill! At first I almost didn’t notice it. I read about it in an essay, which was using all the usual clichés to describe it – thank goodness it wasn’t built with words! I was about to click the back arrow when my eye was caught by its image. In the photo the house still wasn’t finished and it was almost a miracle that I saw it behind the scaffolding and formwork. I can’t exactly say what it was about it that first struck me. Maybe the rust-red concrete, which reminded me of my first time... Or the rosettes protruding from the surface. These are innocent baubleries, in a manner of speaking, but very authentic, I noticed it at once. I instantly set about finding all the images that there were of this house. My initial impression was proved right when I saw it finished: it doesn’t try to be anything that it isn’t. And this very naturalness makes it irresistible! When I look at the house, I just can’t get a grin off my face because I feel it is really alive… and when I imagine my tongue licking itself dry on its concrete, my mouth waters. My palms sweat when I think of my skin scraping off when I rub against the rosettes… But actually I don’t want to write about it. I want to go and see it. And I’ll do anything to make it happen.
Yesterday I sent an e-mail to Olgiati because Bardill told me to get in touch with him. I’ve asked for permission to go and see the house. The only result is that I can’t stop checking my mail now… Was I wrong to ask? Should I ask again? ... All I hope is that they don’t forbid the meeting. I don’t know what I’d do if that happens. I mean, if I went there anyway they would throw me out immediately. That’s for sure. It’s already happened to me a couple of times. Yes, even architects have sent me away…
Nothing today, either! This waiting is driving me crazy. I can’t think of anything except of this house. Everything I do, I just do to kill time. Four days have passed, and Olgiati still hasn’t answered. Maybe I shouldn’t have mentioned that I wanted to touch the house. Perhaps he thinks I’m having him on. Maybe, since he probably hasn’t heard of me. But even so, he of all people should understand me. He, who is capable of building himself such a beauty … Or is he jealous? Perhaps he doesn’t want to share the house with me. That’s certainly a possibility … Wow, Signor Olgiati, if that’s the reason, I perfectly understand! I have the greatest respect for you. I don’t know what I’d do if I’d built such an attractive house … Anyway, I can’t go on unless I am allowed to see the one we love … Signor Valerio Olgiati, what do you say if we sort it out between ourselves, man to man?
At last! Today I received the permission. I’ll be at the Atelier Bardill next week …
Alright, two more days… Every morning I now wake up before the alarm went off. My pulse races already before coffee. Little dirty fantasies flash before my eyes, when I pretend to read the newspaper. And during work, sitting at the desk, I get off on my collection of pictures of the house. Even at night, lying in bed next to my wife, I fantasise about where to touch it…
Under my clothes, scratches in my skin burn. The date yesterday was even better than I had ever expected. When I saw the house, I knew immediately that it would beat anything, the pictures had promised. I was so overwhelmed, that I had to put on a blindfold to fully get into touching: It got dark and I begun to hear the silence of the house. All my attention was directed to the acquaintance of our bodies. My soft and warm flesh scraping over the wintry cold concrete wall with the sharp-edged rosettes. The house scratched my desire into my skin until blood oozed out…I came back around and I knew, that the memory of this encounter will be tattooed into me forever.
publication: abitare magazine_482_april 2008