Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Defenestration Building

If you're driving around in San Francisco you might come across this odd looking abandoned building with furniture hanging out of its open windows and walls. It is located at the intersection of Howard St and Sixth St. It's called the defenestration building. It was created in 1997 by Brain Goggin and a team of artists (read below for more info).

Eastern side of the building

Northern side of the building

Here I quote the passage from


(Site-specific installation on the corner of 6th and Howard St. in San Francisco)

This multi-disciplinary sculptural mural involves seemingly animated furniture; tables, chairs, lamps, grandfather clocks, a refrigerator, and couches, their bodies bent like centipedes, fastened to the walls and window-sills, their insect-like legs seeming to grasp the surfaces. Against society's expectations, these everyday objects flood out of windows like escapees, out onto available ledges, up and down the walls, onto the fire escapes and off the roof. "DEFENESTRATION" was created with the help of over 100 volunteers.

The concept of "DEFENESTRATION", a word literally meaning "to throw out of a window," is embodied by the both the site and staging of this installation. Located at the corner of Sixth and Howard Streets in San Francisco in an abandoned four-story tenement building, the site is part of a neighborhood that historically has faced economic challenge and has often endured the stigma of skid row status. Reflecting the harsh experience of many members of the community, the furniture is also of the streets, cast-off and unappreciated. The simple, unpretentious beauty and humanity of these downtrodden objects is reawakened through the action of the piece. The act of "throwing out" becomes an uplifting gesture of release, inviting reflection on the spirit of the people we live with, the objects we encounter, and the places in which we live.

  • More defenestration photos
  • Flickr defenestration photos

    Location of the building:

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