Deflated Villa 2012 is Pons’ commentary on the human reaction to shock, our inherent vulnerability, and the tenacity of the human spirit. It is a follow-up to the Floating Inflatable Villa of 2005, which was a sharp critique of society’s collective delusion of grandeur during the pre-2008 real estate boom.
In contrast to the robust Floating Inflatable Villa, which bobbed atop the vastness of Biscayne Bay, the Deflated Villa has transformed into a humble, trapped organism. Caught within the rough and spiky steel of rebar columns protruding from an abandoned construction site in Miami’s Design District, Villa 2012 is compressed and unable to escape. It represents the moment of impact when the financial crash of 2008 imposed new constraints and challenged our delusions of grandeur.
The fantastical McMansion is now in a precarious position, struggling for air, its fragile inflated state imminently in danger of being punctured and deflated. The generator that inflates it acts as a respirator that mimics the rhythm of breathing, which is itself a metaphor for inflation and deflation.
“Villa 2012 appears vulnerable and exposed,” Luis Pons said at the time. “Unlike the 2005 villa, which was metaphorically holding its breath, it reflects every person’s natural state – the simple act of breathing. And that is deeply human and ultimately hopeful.”