Narrowest House Hosts Author Etgar Keret

Warsaw Studio Is Between Two and Four Feet Wide

By JTA

Published October 21, 2012.
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The narrowest house in the world, which will host Israeli writer Etgar Keret, was officially opened in Warsaw.

The idea of building Keret House, which opened on Oct. 20 and is to serve as a studio for artists from around the world, appeared a few years ago. Although the project may seem to be extremely difficult, or even impossible, it was able to be squeezed into the gap between the buildings at 22 Chlodna St. and 74 Zelazna St. in Warsaw.

“Maybe thanks to this project we will be able to look at a number of problems in a different way. Maybe Poland will no longer be seen only as a country connected to the Holocaust. This project will run from three to five years,” Piotr Nowicki of the Polish Modern Art Foundation told reporters.

“This project is exciting for several reasons,” says Keret. “Art is a place where your imagination leads you. First was the idea of an architect Jakub Szczesny, then the question of how to do it. My stories come from dreams. And so it was with this project. I am glad that I can come to Poland not as a tourist but as someone who has his home here. My mother is from Warsaw and she lost her family during World War II. Taking part in this project I’m excited as an artist and a child of Holocaust survivor.”

Not far from the place where Keret House was built was a footbridge connecting the two parts of the Warsaw Ghetto.

“We have been working on this project since 2009,” said Sarmen Beglarian who together with Sylwia Szymaniak is the curator of the project. “We were able to make something that seemed impossible. We want to invite here well-known artists and have a contest for young artists. Keret House will become a generator of cultural activities.”

Keret House is from 92 cm to 152 cm wide on the outside. Inside, the narrowest place is the living room at 72 cm, and the most extensive is the bathroom and bedroom located above it at 122 cm. Its total area is 14 square meters.

The largest donor to the project was Warsaw city hall, which has contributed about $45,500.

“I’m afraid that when I order a pizza it will not fit in the door,” Keret said. Asked about safety, he responded: “Remember that I live in Israel. Compared to Israel this house is very safe.”


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