Dilapidated houses are the pabulum of photographers the world over. A quick Internet image search will produce thousands of examples. Which was exactly the starting point for Ofra Lapid‘s meta project, “Broken Houses”: small-scale model reconstructions of images she culled from the web. The Israeli artist debuted 56 houses at a Tel Aviv contemporary art fair in May.
Lapid says she became particularly intrigued by an amateur photographer in North Dakota who obsessively documents barns and houses as they decay. After choosing her images, she printed a selection of pictures, mounted them on cardboard, cut them into pieces, and painstakingly glued them together into 3-D models. She then photographed them against a gray background, removed from their original context, to create trompe l’oeils.
“I was very intrigued by these images in both the plastic level, their shapes and structure,” Lapid tells Co.Design, “as well as in their subject matter, the idea of a typical house structure wearing down.” Just as the photographers of the original images were moved to capture, and thereby arrest, the decomposing process, Lapid was inspired to rebuild and preserve the buildings before their total collapse.