Forms of Living

The Studioification of The Home:
The Freelance Artist’s Studio in Paris, New York and San Francisco from 1600 to the present

Research Project | Elena Palacios Carral | 2017 - 2021

Elena recently submitted a PhD thesis investigating the development of freelance artists’ studios in Paris, New York, and San Francisco, focusing on the precarious artist to expose the studio not as a neutral space for making art, but as a politically charged space—which is controlled by agents with power and access to money, such as the State and Real Estate—an overlooked aspect in standard histories of artists’ studios. Artists’ working processes are frequently romanticised, in omitting the question of labour conditions and the historically concrete political economy of cultural production. While most studio histories celebrate the idea of the solitary artist, Elena’s thesis exposes how art production is sustained and materially enabled through solidarity and collective work. To this end, her research frequently draws upon interviews and conversations with the artists themselves.

Elena’s understanding of the artist’s studio as a post-domestic type of space has informed a larger concern about present day housing explored in the design studios we teach at various UK institutions and informing a feminist approach to the design briefs drawn up by our teaching partners and us. Our courses seek to challenge the hierarchies of domestic space by invoking collectivised practices of cultural production.

PhD, Architectural Association

With the support of FONCA-CONACYT Estudios en el Extranjero