07 Apr ‘Manmaison of Innocence’: Time and Story into Space
I have always held affixed special import to objects and their relation to stories, emotions, moments in time and space. This latent perspective of ‘objects as a fabric’ (i.e. the anti-Marie Kondo) was captured rather remarkably by Orhan Pamuk (perhaps my favorite author) in his novel “Museum of Innocence.” For him, “real museums are places where Time is transformed into Space.” Time is the impersonal proxy for Story. Time is simply a (re)collection of stories and stories are simply a record of time.
Real homes are no different from museums, except they are meant to be lived in, cherished today and tomorrow, such that the Story and Time being transformed into Space are being transcribed along 2 vectors rather than just 1. The objects in them, contextualized by a certain set of people living Stories across a particular segment in Time, thus matter a lot!
In this vein, over the past few months I have spent hours, squeezed between cross-country flights and spirited gym runs, working together with my designers to assemble the interiors of my home. It is, in many ways, a highly creative, cathartic process through which I am having a chance to explore myself in greater depth. It is far more complex of an undertaking than I’d imagined, but by the same layered reality, it is also more introspective, more rewarding.
Indeed, Manmaison – “Home of the Mind” – has become one of my life’s most challenging projects. It has unveiled my naivete – I know nothing about interior design. At the same time, I have a sense of the traditional identity of a ‘home,’ of objects, of fabrics, of Time, of Story, of raison d’etre. Trying to battle the sometimes contradictory instincts for perfection, staying true to myself, and for having a functional home is the ultimate challenge for an artistic businessman: it is a battle between existence and essence, and the immutability of each.
As Churchill noted “we shape our buildings, and afterward, our buildings shape us.” As the home comes together, I will document its stories more carefully. This blog is after all a sort of Museum of its own!
Pictured: Dionysian (or is it Apollonian?) detail from a Louis XVIII desk in my study set against a rare green Per`sian rug (the flowery pattern betrays its Kerman roots) that was owned by the Maharaja of Bikaner.