What do you think of when you hear “tin foil”? Maybe some food wrapping and other handy stuff around the house, right? What about literally around the house, like in a house completely wrapped up in tin foil? This is what you might see if you are strolling around the streets of Warsaw, more specifically the Praga-North district. It is artist Piotr Janowski’s doing and is dubbed “Zabkowska 9, Take off!”.
This is a 1870 tenement building transformed into a “symbol of modernity and urban development”, as Janowski says. There’s basically tin foil wrapped up around the whole house, windows included, highlighting the details in the structure’s brick facade. In Janowski’s words, “I selected this particular building because of its very interesting history that is deeply connected to the very turbulent and tragic history of Warsaw, especially during WW2”.
Janowski had help from a local homeless man who had been living in the empty upper floors of the building for over 7 years. They spent 10 days wrapping the whole building in aluminium foil aided by the local youths around. Janowski’s declared purpose is for the building to serve as a warning signal to the lack of social housing in the city and he hopes it will stay in situ until the end of this summer. What do you think of it?
Is this worth the struggle? What about you walking down the streets of an unknown city and coming up to this view? What does it look like to you? What sort of message does it send out?
Images: Piotr Janowski